City File: MFI

MFI'S flotation last summer was hardly a startling success. The final strike price of 115p was lower than the original target range, yet 85 per cent of the shares were left with the underwriters. The performance since the flotation has not been sparkling, especially in the run- up to their half-year results on Thursday, which are not expected to be encouraging.

NatWest Securities is predicting a 26 per cent fall in operating profits to pounds 18m. Unless there is an upbeat results statement, the shares at 139p hold little promise.