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The Independent Online
The best-performing stock in the FT-SE 100 last week was TI Group, the auto and aircraft parts maker, which rose 8.6 per cent after announcing a 16 per cent rise in pre-tax profit. After years of slashing operating costs and building profits with acquisitions, it has widened margins in its three primary businesses even though growth in its main markets is patchy.

Lasmo, the oil exploration company, gained 5.1 per cent on speculation that it has found gas at a new prospect in Pakistan where it has just finished drilling its first well. Lasmo already produces 77 million cubic feet of gas a day from one other field in Pakistan.

The worst-performing stock in the index was Rentokil Initial, the vermin control and security company, which slumped 10.8 per cent after a disappointing report that showed slowing earnings growth once the benefits of last year's acquisition of BET were stripped out.

Completing another dismal week, Centrica, the smaller of the two spin- offs from the former British Gas, declined 9.7 per cent. The gas distributor faces loss of market share after the Government ended its monopoly on distribution last year. Last week, the US gas producer Amerada Hess said it had teamed up with Dixons, the electronics retailer, to sell natural gas to households in the UK from next year. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg