27 September 2010 – interim results

Interim results, covering the 6 months ended 30 June 2010, have been badly received. Although the interim dividend was raised to 1.8p (2009: 1.6p) and net debt was reduced to £14.5m, adjusted basic earnings per share fell from 6.8p to 5.9p. Operations exposed to the NHS have come under pressure. The company believes that this is a short to medium term situation and that longer term prospects remain good. The shares have been marked down 24% at the time of writing and this looks to be an overreaction. Although not without risk, we continue to rate the shares as a BUY.