City File: Fisons

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The Independent Online
AFTER a dismal 18 months, Fisons should be able to give its bedraggled shareholders some hope on Tuesday by maintaining its dividend. Such a sign might go some way to wiping out the bad feeling left by a 45 per cent drop in the company's share price, the resignation of its chairman and an unpleasant and costly spat with the US Food & Drug Administration.

The plus points for the largest company in Ipswich are the US approval of its Tilade anti-asthma drug, a co-marketing agreement with Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and the raising of nearly pounds 200m from disposals.

At 221p, the shares have discounted a 40 per cent fall in the profits to pounds 110m and are looking forward to an improvement to pounds 150m next year. Buy.