City File: DIY doubts

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The Independent Online
Wickes has fully shared in the euphoria surrounding anything to do with building or DIY. The shares have nearly doubled to 114p since Black Wednesday.

But the company's history in the 10 years since it was spun off from its troubled American parent has included unhappy accidents, such as the overpriced purchase of Hunter timber in 1988. The basic builder's merchants business at Wickes is sound enough, but doubts over Hunter's recovery - and prospects for its European subsidiaries - may hold the shares back, even if Thursday's interims show a recovery.

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