Buy-back for port firm

Powell Duffryn announced plans to buy back 10% of its shares last week after declaring that it had been unable to find acquisitions at the right price. The company, which runs port operations on Teesside and has an engineering division which makes cargo-handling equipment formerchant shipping, said it would still have about £100m to fund […]

Powell Duffryn announced plans to buy back 10% of its shares last week after declaring that it had been unable to find acquisitions at the right price.

The company, which runs port operations on Teesside and has an engineering division which makes cargo-handling equipment formerchant shipping, said it would still have about £100m to fund acquisitions – even after the buy-back.

Barry Hartiss, Powell Duffryn chief executive, reported pre-tax profits of £27.4m for the first half of the year. The contribution from the ports business was lower than in the same six months last year, although the engineering business recorded a rise in profits, up from £9.5m to £12.6m.

The company said it was still looking for acquisition opportunities despite having been outbid by venture capitalists last year.