Director dealings: Newriver Retail announces increased profits

NEWRIVER Retail, an investment trust set up to find bargains in the beleaguered commercial property sector, has had a busy year.

The trust, whose Scottish investments include the Piazza shopping centre in Paisley and shops on Glasgow’s Union Street, completed an oversubscribed equity fundraising to bring in £42.5 million.

Acquisitions have taken total assets under management to around £270m, up from £174m six months ago.

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The company recently announced interim results to 30 September showing profit before tax has increased by 65 per cent to £2.8m and a 500 per cent increase in the interim dividend to 6p per share.

Shares in the company have edged downwards in recent weeks but all four executive directors have chosen to increase their holdings.

The biggest purchaser was chief executive David Lockhart, who acquired 12,000 shares at 225p and now holds 1.62 million shares.

• Russell Taylor, chief executive of exhibitions and conferences firm ITE, has sold more than 116,000 shares at 198.5p each following strong full-year figures last week.

• Patrick Dardis, retail director at brewery group Young & Co, has sold 4,411 shares at 680p each.

The company recently announced sales increased by 34 per cent to £90.5m during the six months to October.

• Leslie Van de Walle, a non-executive director at insurance giant Aviva, has sold 12,826 shares at 332.60p each.

• Gavin Darby, newly appointed chief executive at telecoms group Cable & Wireless Worldwide, has invested heavily in the company.

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He bought two million shares at 16.89p each. Darby was previously chief executive for Vodafone’s US, Africa, India and China business.

• Mike Coupe, a non-executive director of brewing and leisure group Greene King, has bought 2,000 shares at a price of 465p.

• Simon Laffin, non-executive chairman of property group Assura, has bought 221,638 shares at 33.5p each. He now holds 221,638 shares in the company.