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

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
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

    C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

    C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

    £45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

    DevOps Engineer - Linux, Shell, Bash, Solaris, UNIX, Salt-Stack

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: A fast growing Financial Services organisation b...

    Trade Desk FIX Analyst - (FIX, SQL, Equities, Support)

    £50000 - £60000 per annum + excellent benefits: Harrington Starr: An award-win...

    Day In a Page

    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
    Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

    What is the appeal of Twitch?

    Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
    Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

    How bosses are making us work harder

    As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
    Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

    Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

    As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
    Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

    A tale of two writers

    Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
    Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

    Should pupils get a lie in?

    Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
    Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

    Prepare for Jewish jokes...

    ... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
    SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

    A dream come true for SJ Watson

    Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
    Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

    Paul Scholes column

    Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?