Methvens gains from lease deal

<p>, the chain of nine bookshops trading as Methvens, improved sales from ongoing stores by &#163;202,000 to &#163;4.1m in the six months to end-March. Including the income from a store in Aylesbury closed during the previous year, sales had fallen by &#163;494,000. Operating margin improved to 4.1%, compared to the previous year's 3.1%.

Net profit for the six-month period--including Christmas 2003--was &#163;189,000, an increase from &#163;134,000 a year earlier. It was helped by an exceptional gain of &#163;35,000, after making a profit of &#163;125,000 on the surrender ...

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