The Week In Review: IMI cuts jobs to lay the foundations for the future

This week, IMI announced 500 job cuts but also posted a solid set of annual results. Profits rose 21 per cent to £194m, beating City expectations. Sales grew 12 per cent to £1.5bn. In the year ahead, the group plans acquisitions worth £100m and has earmarked a similar figure for a share buyback programme. Buy.

FIRST CHOICE

The City had been hoping First Choice would be able to sell its underperforming short-haul business to either Thomas Cook or MyTravel. But investor hopes were dashed last month when Thomas Cook and MyTravel agreed a £2.9bn merger and ruled themselves out as buyers of the asset. Avoid.

PREMIER FOODS

Pre-tax profit for 2006 at Premier rose to £56m from £51m in the previous year, while sales grew 22 per cent to £959m. Given its shares have one of the lowest ratings in the sector and the highest yield, they are worth tucking away. Buy.

CRH

Annual results from building materials group CRH this week made great reading for investors, particularly on the dividend front. The group raised its payout by a third to 52 cents a share on the Dublin exchange. Despite the gains its shares have made, now is no time to be taking profits. Hold.

NEUTRAHEALTH

It is from the fast-growing food supplements market that NeutraHealth is looking to make money. And, judging by the full-year results from the AIM-listed group, it is already doing rather well. Worth a punt.

JARDINE LLOYD

Jardine Lloyd Thompson, the insurance broker, certainly looks a much steadier ship than it did 12 months ago, but the risks still more than outweigh the potential upside. The 5 per cent dividend may prove enough to attract income-hungry investors, but this is otherwise one to avoid.

IDEAL SHOPPING DIRECT

Ideal Shopping made an excellent start to 2007, enjoying a 20 per cent increase in sales in the first two months and a 12 per cent improvement in its margin. A look at its balance sheet and valuation make it even more exciting. Buy.

THE RESTAURANT GROUP

With four businesses - the Italian-American themed Frankie & Benny's, the Mexican-style Chiquito, along with Garfunkel's and Blubeckers. Predominantly located at airport and out-of-town leisure parks, the company is avoiding the highly competitive and overcrowded high street. Buy the shares.

BALFOUR BEATTY

The construction group has registered a strong advance on all measures. Pre-tax profit rose 13 per cent to £152m. Sales increased 20 per cent to £5.9bn. The group's order book soared in value by 20 per cent to a record £9.1bn. Hold.

AGGREKO

Aggreko, the world's biggest provider of temporary power plants this week posted a 47 per cent jump in annual profits, said that 2007 would end up being a better year than expected and boasted that the major acquisitions it completed in December are already proving to be a big success. Hold.

AXIS-SHIELD

Share price: 230.75p (+1.25p)

Medical diagnostics kit maker Axis-Shield had a testing time last year, but sales were still up 5 per cent to £60.8m and pre-tax profits at £2m compared to £1.9m in 2005. Buy.

UMBRO

As long as England make it to the 2008 European Championship in Austria, Umbro should make a profit of £31.5m next year, leaving its shares trading at just nine times forward earnings. That is too cheap. Buy.

These recommendations are taken from the daily Investment Column.

m.jivkov@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
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

    Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Quantitative Risk Manager

    Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits