Investment Column: Minorplanet

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SHARES IN AIM-listed Minorplanet rose by 50 per cent last week, so profit- taking following yesterday's results was no shock. Minorplanet is a year away from joining the main market, but its vehicle monitoring technology - which records a driver's every move and the vehicle's location - has excited both investors and customers.

Last week's rise followed the news that GE Capital Fleet Services, which holds a 4 per cent stake, is installing the system in its new cars. GECFS, along with Boots and the group's other 420 customers, benefit from better control of their workforce and electronic time-sheet management. Revenues from the deal should arrive within six months.

Minorplanet has less than 1 per cent of the 7 million-vehicle UK fleet market, but it is already looking to expand into both Europe and domestic vehicles. It has a deal with AON, an insurance broker interested in promoting the technology to UK insurers.

The group sold 5,900 units - each generating monthly income of pounds 60m - last year. Charles Stanley expects it to post pre-tax profits of pounds 2.3m this year.

Michael Abrahams, the chairman, says this year is unlikely to see major new alliances, but given the proprietary nature of Minorplanet's software, and the size of its market the shares, at 300p, look attractive.