City File: Forte poised for a return to favour

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The Independent Online
FORTE, the hotels group, is recruiting two new non-executive directors in an attempt to counter growing City criticism of the composition of its board.

A couple of older non-executives will be making way for the new blood. The new appointments will be announced on Thursday, together with the group's interim results, and are expected to be followed within months by the recruitment of a chief executive from outside the group. The present chief executive, Rocco Forte, will move up to become full-time chairman, with his father, Lord Forte, taking on the role of life president.

Half-time profits before taking account of book losses on property disposals will come in at about pounds 31m, against pounds 42m last time, but the trading statement is likely to be quite upbeat. With the lower pound helping to tempt foreign tourists back to London, Forte shares may finally have bottomed out. It could be that investment sentiment is about to turn positive towards the company once more.

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