Bottom Line: Short-priced favourite

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AFTER the acute embarrassment of pulling its first flotation three years ago amid police raids London Clubs International's current advisers aim to make no mistake with the second attempt.

Valuing casino groups is always a gamble but a revamped LCI is clearly underpriced at 200p a share. It is rated lower than Crockfords, a far more risky business.

LCI, which has a spread of casinos in London and overseas, made pounds 14m pre-tax in the year to March.

This gives pro forma earnings of 22.5p or a historical p/e of 8.9 while pro forma dividends of 11.92p offer a 7.5 per cent yield. Round at Crockfords the comparable figures are 9.6 and 6.3 per cent.

Looking forward, pre-tax profits could be pounds 27.5m this year, translating to a p/e of 8 against 9.3 for Crockfords on market forecasts.

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