- Health and safety consultancy PHSC posted a fall in first-half profit, as weakness in the retail sector hurt sales at its security division and it closed its asbestos management business.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through September fell to £155k, down from £270k on-year. Revenue fell to £2.23m, down from £2.90m.

The company held its interim dividend steady at 0.5p per share.

'Trials and tribulations on the high street are well publicised and we are not insulated from this,' the company said.

'Until retailers have emerged from the Christmas period they are unlikely to consider meaningful investment in their stores, partly because of financial uncertainties but also because they do not want work going on in store during the peak period.'

'This means we always see a tail-off in activity as we approach the festive period and as a result of the general weakness in the sector, we have reduced visibility for the start of calendar year 2019.'

'Our health and safety businesses are all trading profitably and we expect this to continue for the second half of the financial year.'

At 1:40pm: [LON:PHSC] PHSC PLC share price was +0.5p at 11.5p

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