Director Dealings: Lamprell shares up 15%

THE 15% rise in Lamprell's share price last week will be of little comfort to investors who bought into the group last summer. The shares are still down by more than three-quarters on their year highs of more than £5.

Last week's partial recovery came after the firm, which supplies engineering services to the oil & gas industry in the Arabian Gulf and Thailand, announced that turnover and profit rose in 2008.

Although the company said it was cautious about the short term outlook for work on building new facilities it remains confident about the long-term prospects for the offshore construction market.

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Sizeable purchases by three board members appeared to support that confidence. Chief executive Peter Whitbread and chief operating officer Nigel McCue each bought 150,000 shares at 68p each and chief financial officer Scott Doak bought 100,000 shares.

• Two directors at Northern Foods increased their holdings after the convenience food group reported rising sales. Chief executive Stefan Barden purchased 189,517 shares at 49.7p each to raise his stake to 1.74m shares. Finance director Andrew Booker bought 50,000 shares at the same price and now holds 250,000 shares.

• David Rich-Jones, executive director of IT outsourcing group Xchanging, sold 175,658 shares at an average price of 221p but retains a stake of more than 820,000 shares.

• ProStrakan chief financial officer Paul Garvey, bought 20,000 shares, 10,000 at 67p and 10,000 at 68p, bringing his total to 30,000.

• Jean-Phillippe Courtois, a non-executive director at drugs group AstraZeneca, has significantly increased his stake. He bought 2,135 shares for 2,299p each and now holds 2,635.

• Hugh Aldous, chairman of training group Melorio, has increased his family's holding with the purchase of 20,000 shares at 97p each. He now holds 200,000 shares.

• Rupert Dorey, a director at infrastructure group Babcock and Brown Public Partnerships, has bought bought 113,630 shares at 91.1p each.