City File: The write-off season

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The Independent Online
THE write-off season continues next week when Hillsdown Foods reports. David Lang of Henderson Crosthwaite reckons write-offs could amount to more than pounds 150m, mostly goodwill from some of Hillsdown's acquisitions over the years.

But the deck-clearing could mark the end of three terrible years and precede a strong recovery. Hillsdown gains more from devaluation in protection from cheap foreign poultry imports than it loses from rising import prices. Indeed, Lang reckons that if it can get its poultry act together, it could make pounds 200m pre-tax next year, against pounds 155m expected this year. And at the worst, it could make pounds 175m. Either way, yielding well over 7 per cent, it remains an excellent income stock and a buy on any weakening after the write-offs.