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Maiden sees encouraging signs and expects 10% growth

LONDON - Outdoor advertising giant Maiden Group has said that there is an encouraging improvement in the market, with a 6% rise in sales over the first quarter of the year.

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Advertising veteran and Maiden chairman Martin Boase told investors at its annual general meeting that Maiden expected sales growth of at least 10% for the first half of the year.

"We are seeing stronger forward bookings than this time in 2003 but, while this should benefit pricing and the company is performing in line with our expectations, it is still relatively early in the year to make firm predictions," he said.

Boase added that Maiden's business was making good progress and that it was well invested and strongly supported. "We have made a good start to the year," he said.

In March, Maiden revealed that 2003 pre-tax profits fell by 17% from £6.4m to £5.3m. The company is currently awaiting the outcome of tenders for the South Central train company and for the mainline stations and concourse promotions of Network Rail.

Shares in Maiden rose by 5p to 230p after it released its statement, an increase of 2%.

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