City File: One to watch

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The Independent Online
MOST people have only heard about Neepsend, the Sheffield- based toolmaker, because of its walk-on part during Petrocon's bid for James Wilkes early last year. Then it emerged that Wilkes, also from Sheffield, had failed to disclose its purchase of a 2.4 per cent stake in Neepsend despite Activegrade, a company in which Wilkes had a 25 per cent stake, also owning 7.2 per cent of Neepsend.

Wilkes was forced to place the Neepsend shares, and must now be pretty happy that it did. The price has fallen from 31p in April to 18p last week.

Half-year results, due tomorrow, will be nothing to write home about. BWD Rensberg, its broker, expects the company to break even and make a small profit for the year. Neepsend, though, is a survivor and worth watching for any signs of a manufacturing recovery.

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