Bottom Line: No Goode cheer

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GOODE Durrant, classed as a conglomerate by the Stock Exchange listing authorities, is not a conglomerate at all.

It used to have a bank, a commodity trader, and a string of motor dealerships. Soon it will be shorn of Rawlings, its loss-making housebuilder.

Announcing a pre-tax loss of pounds 15.4m for the year to 30 April, Goode said it was going to concentrate on just two subsidiary operations - Northgate, the van hirer, and Tam, a building site cabin lessor.

In fact, last year's pre-tax loss is due to a write-back of goodwill but operating profits are not that much more encouraging. In continuing businesses they fell from pounds 4.1m to pounds 3.9m. The dividend is held at 5.4p.

Some investment spice is provided by Winnedael, the British Virgin Island-registered vehicle of the South African Nash family, which owns 25 per cent.

However, if Winnedael was going to bid, it would have done so by now. It is also hard to see what anyone else would want in the business.

At 93p the shares are trading on 11.6 times forecast earnings. That looks cheap, but the quality of Goode's continuing business does not inspire confidence. Sell.