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JBA mulls over sale of channel arm

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AS/400 house JBA, is planning to divest itself from its channels division despite turning in results that chairman Alan Vickery claimed were better than expected. Vickery said JBA was considering spinning off the division or selling off part of its stake. "We've thought about lots of options," he said. "Including reducing our ownership to 49 per cent." Turnover for the six months ending 30 June rose to £126.1 million, from £88.1 million for the same period last year. JBA made a pre-tax loss of £4.46 million, compared with last year's pre-tax loss of £1.30 million. An interim dividend of 1.25p per share was agreed, unchanged from last year's interim dividend. In response to the figures, broker Albert E Sharp reduced its profit forecast for JBA's full year, from £14 million to £13 million and marking the shares down as a trading buy. Vickery said the group had performed better than expected and that a number of measures had been put in place to improve long term profitability. "We have made good progress in a number of key areas of our business and as a result are well placed to meet our objectives for the year," he said.®

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