Charter profit rises

City A.M. Reporter
TAKEOVER target Charter International yesterday stepped up its efforts to resist an approach from manufacturing buyout firm Melrose, setting new growth targets and reporting an increase in first-half profit.

The group, which rejected a £1.4bn approach from Melrose earlier this month, said pre-tax profit rose by 3.1 per cent to £75.6m, as a strong performance from its Howden air and gas handling equipment division offset weakness in its ESAB welding tools business.

Charter issued a profit warning in June, saying its full-year results would be below expectations because of continued weakness in the ESAB business, which has been plagued by higher steel prices.

Shares in Charter edged up 0.1 per cent to close at 798p yesterday, well below Melrose’s latest offer of 840p a share.