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Boutique beer brewers cream off some of the froth

SELLERS were well to the fore on the directors' trades front this week, with a clutch of folk closely identified with their companies taking some cash off the table.

SELLERS were well to the fore on the directors' trades front this week, with a clutch of folk closely identified with their companies taking some cash off the table.

Two of the founders of Little World Beverages collected nearly $12 million after disposing of shares at $3.30 apiece in what is a very thinly traded market.

The buyers are already ahead of the game as the stock closed the week at $3.48. Howard Cearns and Nic Trimboli each cut their stakes from about 9 per cent to 6 per cent of the capital.

The Perth-based boutique beer brewer increased pre-tax earnings by 41 per cent to $13.2 million on sales that improved 24 per cent to $70 million in the latest year.

Fancy enough figures but that sort of growth doesn't come cheaply, with the buyers paying 23 times earnings.

Elsewhere on the growth front, the woman behind OrotonGroup disposed of some shares following another year of useful earnings growth.

Sally Macdonald exercised 81,447 free options and sold 180,000 shares at about $7.68 apiece.

OrotonGroup increased pre-tax earnings by 13 per cent in the July year and said sales for the first seven weeks of the current year had exceeded expectations. Macdonald retains $4.9 million of stock.

Among other sellers, the managing director of goldminer Kingsgate Consolidated collected nearly $4.5 million through the sale of shares at $7 each.

Gavin Thomas noted the sale was a consequence of financing commitments associated with the exercise of 2.5 million employee options in June last year.

Then, he exercised $14.5 million of options at an average $5.80 an option.

Overall, sellers accounted for $22.2 million of business, while buyers outlaid $2.2 million.

Near the top of the buying list was some action in stocks that are not quite as popular as they once were.

Matrix Composites & Engineering, a Perth-based deep-water buoyancy equipment maker, was trumpeted some time back by various tipsters and their followers pushed the stock to $9.95 earlier this year. Some concern about future growth has seen the stock dramatically discounted.

Non-executive director Paul Wright paid about $3.23 a share on Thursday. The shares closed at $3.59 yesterday, giving Wright a more-than-handy profit.

Elsewhere on the diminished share price front was Salmat, whose activities include letterbox direct mail.

Hitting $4.98 early in the year, the scrip is now fetching $2.71 after recently touching $2.50.

Philip Salter, a non-executive director and a joint founder of the group, paid about $2.59 a share on Wednesday.


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