No Pain, No Gain: One I didn't sell too early, and which is on the up

It has been a long, often agonising four years but it seems that shares of Wyatt, one of the No Pain, No Gain portfolio's more recalcitrant investments, are at last coming in from the cold.

They were suspended last week at 22p. The company, it transpired, is near to clinching what could be a major deal which may, I believe, be regarded as transformational. These are early days and due diligence has still to be carried out. But the signs are that the take over will be completed within a few months.

Still, even if Wyatt's expansionary hopes are not fulfilled, the little group is at last doing very nicely. It has just recorded its first-ever profit. And its move into the black is unlikely to be a flash in the pan.

Operating profit emerged at £354,000, against a £542,000 loss, with a "pure" pre-tax return of £122,000 compared with a £687,000 deficit. Turnover soared from £1.2m to nearly £3m.

This is quite a turnaround, then. The shares climbed from 14p to 19p on the figures and then the takeover talk lifted them to 22p before trading was halted. The portfolio paid 27.5p in April 2003. Assuming the signalled deal goes through I would expect them to top 40p this year. Even without the acquisition, I believe that the shares have put their dark days behind them and should be capable of exceeding the portfolio's recruitment price. It's a far cry from those not-so-distant days when the on-line group slumped to a miserable 8p. True, trading in the shares was invariably thin. Indeed on occasions they slithered and slipped with, according to the www.advfn.com screen, not a solitary share changing hands. Whether the company had a future was a relevant question.

If I had adopted the traditional stop-loss approach I would have dumped the shares. But faith and patience are sometimes rewarded. My gut feeling was that Wyatt would eventually prosper. It is closely related to the management of Mears, the support services group that is one of AIM's success stories, although its shares have come under pressure lately following allegations of contract problems, which Mears rejects. Mears was one of the portfolio's early hits, more than trebling to 84p. But, it transpired, I sold far too early. The shares have since gone on to even greater things, reaching, at one time, 380p.

Wyatt has three divisions. Star of the show is PES, offering a range of tax and legal services. It has swung handsomely from loss to profit. And Risksmart, a risk-assessment group, is now trading close to break-even. Both are expected to make further strong headway with, perhaps, year's profits getting near £500,000. The third division, featuring a drug-testing kit, has yet to get off the ground. Wyatt has capped its expenditure and its United States partner is now funding the venture.

Myhome International, the ambitious franchise group that is now the portfolio's top performer, is still on the takeover trail. Its latest capture is Ferrum, an ironing, dry cleaning and laundry business with eight operators in this country and master franchises in Spain and New Zealand. Ferrum, which offers a van collection and delivery service, should blend with the group's other franchises which include residential cleaning, gardening and oven cleaning.

The chairman, Russell O'Connell, believes the latest addition is another step towards creating a complete range of residential services for the "cash rich, time poor" brigade. He is prepared to pay £4.8m in cash and shares. Initial outlay is £500,000; the rest depends on trading over the next three years.

Myhome's shares are, as I write, 103.5p against the portfolio's 15.5p buying price. Profit forecasts continue to look impressive.

In its latest review, Growth Equities and Company Research is predicting £1.92m this year and £4.1m next. It expects the shares to hit 120p before the year's end.

Finally Private & Commercial Finance, the hire-purchase group that joined the portfolio at 19.5p in January and is now 26p: after moving from losses to profits it has raised nearly £600,000 through a share-placing at 22p. The shares went to Aberdeen Holdings, which now has 22.5 per cent.

It seems that the increases in interest rates have not impaired trading. The chief executive, Tony Nelson, revealed that the once ailing group enjoyed a record run last month.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

    £50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

    £13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

    Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

    Day In a Page

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...