Berisford parts from broker after profits warning; MARKET REPORT

Berisford International, which stunned the stock market with a profit warning, has suddenly parted company with its long-time stockbroker, ABN Amro Hoare Govett. Although Hoare played down the split there is little doubt it resigned because it felt uncomfortable with Berisford's trading performance and its shares slump; the price is at a year's low of 103p against 268p last year.

In September, at around the time of the profit warning. Hoare's chairman, Peter Meinertzhagen, admitted the securities house had experienced a difficult third quarter but said market-making losses were "a lot less" than a rumoured pounds 20m. The shares which were thought to have caused Hoare so much trouble were Berisford, Hanson, Iceland and the suspended Wickes.

Since Alan Bowkett started to transform Berisford, a former commodities group, it has raised, through Hoare, pounds 58.7m to take over the Magnet kitchen operation and then, with a loan stock, pounds 334m, largely to fund the takeover of Welbilt, a US maker of commercial kitchen equipment.

An industrial dispute at Magnet and a downturn in the US were blamed for the profit warning when expectations for the year ended September were cut to pounds 25m from pounds 33m. Barclays de Zoete Wedd has taken over as Berisford's broker.

The rest of the market made hesitant progress with Footsie up 19.9 points to 3,934.3 with the latest interest rate comments of Bank of England Governor Eddie George creating more caution.

The Retail Consortium's October survey helped retailers although much of Dixons' 18.5p gain to 566p was due to a story of a Kingfisher bid. The confusion could have been caused by Kingfisher's pounds 51m afternoon swoop on United Utilities retail arm.

Burton was actively traded with talk of an institutional seller, possibly UBS. There were also rumours of a bid for House of Fraser. It was enough to lower the shares 3.25p to 144.5p.

The proposed French insurance merger between Axa and UAP lifted insurance shares with Sun Life & Provincial, controlled by UAP, up 6.5p to 244.5p.

Allied Domecq's poor figures left the shares down 14p to 454p. Since chairman Sir Christopher Hogg let it be known over the weekend that he had rejected thoughts of a demerger the shares have lost 30.5p.

Guinness frothed up 8.5p to 445.5p as stories resurfaced that LVMH was moving towards placing all or part of its 21 per cent interest. It was suggested a number of securities houses had talked to the French group but had been unable to agree a price. With its thirst to expand the French group is thought to be keen to raise cash and it is coming round to the view that Guinness represents its cash cow.

Eurodisc Electron fell a further 15.5p to 138.5p following a warning of lower interim profits but Wardle Storeys, a maker of survival equipment, jumped 42p to 503.5p on a 47.3 per cent profit advance and bullish statement.

Vodafone fell 3.5p to 239.5p despite confident noises from Merrill Lynch, suggesting a 280p target price. A buyer of call options lifted BT 2p to 359p.

BAT Industries, up 6p at 426p, and Imperial Group, 5.5p to 364p, drew encouragement from a leading US investment fund's decision not to sell its tobacco shareholdings.

Imperial Chemical Industries rose 12p to 779.5p on Credit Lyonnais Laing support but an investment presentation did little for P&O, off 1.5p to 598p. East Midlands Electricity ended 7.5p higher at 611p as talks started with potential US bidder, Dominion Resources.

Pearson rose 12.5p to 729p in belated response to the new Henderson Crosthwaite break-up valuation of 970p. EMI, the showbiz group, gained 24p to 1,237.5p ahead of interim figures scheduled for next week. The shares have failed to live up to expectations since the demerger from the Thorn rental operation. They have fallen from 1,486p as the rumoured bidder failed to appear and worries have grown about increasing competition.

Capital Radio remained out of tune following its bid for the My Kinda Town restaurant chain. Its shares fell a further 25p to 552.5p.

Yates Brothers Wine Lodges, an unsuccessful bidder for the Tom Cobleigh pubs chain, is raising pounds 7.5m, placing shares through Panmure Gordon at 385p. The price firmed to 392.5p. British Biotech slipped to 226.5p. Greig Middleton remain bullish. Analysts suggest a fair value price of 502p, rising to 742p by the end of next year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
fashionA new dress to enrage the internet...
  • 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.

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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own