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South Island retailer Arthur Barnett has posted a net profit of $984,000 for the year to August 1, almost double last year's bottom-line result.

The Dunedin-based company, which appears close to being swallowed up in a takeover offer from two of its directors, reported a net profit of $508,000 last year.

Total operating revenue this year fell 3.2 per cent to $28.8 million, which the company attributed to the sale of its Balclutha store. Earnings before interest, tax and depreciation rose 7.5 per cent to $5.7 million.

The company, which is celebrating its centennial, said its five-year-old Meridian shopping centre continued to grow in all areas, including centre turnover and foot traffic.

However, it will not pay an end-of-year dividend.

In August the company received a takeover notice from Belwalsh Holdings, controlled by Arthur Barnett directors Trevor Scott and Julian Smith.

The pair have a 53 per cent stake in the company and are offering shareholders $1.40 a share for the remainder.

The Belwalsh offer, which expires on December 1, is conditional on it acquiring 90 per cent of the company. So far it has received acceptances amounting to about 84 per cent.

The company's shares were untraded yesterday. They last traded at $1.32.

Arthur Barnett is also under investigation from the Securities Commission over a 14 per cent rise in share price days before it was revealed that the board expected to receive an attractive takeover price.

- Staff Reporter, NZPA