Investment Column: Unigate milking earnings growth
Tuesday 09 June 1998
Unigate is more inclined to hit the acquisition trail but its cautious reputation seems to rule out an early deal. The other problem is that there are few obvious targets. Unigate is thought to have looked at Geest a while ago but the fresh food group's shares have since doubled. Hazlewood Foods had its attractions too but it is also now looking expensive. Unigate remains interested in parts of Hillsdown, of course, but given that it backed out of the deal because of Hillsdown's current trading statement, investors should not hold their breath.
The uncertainty has cast a cloud over Unigate's shares, which peaked at 731p earlier his year. Nevertheless, the company is enjoying strong earnings growth. Profits before exceptionals grew by nearly 12 per cent to pounds 139m in the year to March, with a higher contribution from every business. Fresh foods did well in spite of a fall in UK pig prices at the group's Malton business as consumers shifted back to beef from pork. Chilled products also performed well, helped by Teletubby yoghurts which have sold 14m pots since their February launch.
A dairy deal is always a possibility, though Unigate feels an Express Dairies style de-merger will not add to shareholder value. So perhaps a special dividend is the most likely. On current year forecasts of pounds 158m, the shares - up 6p to 664.5p yesterday - trade on a forward rating of 13. Worth holding.
- 1 Israel-Gaza conflict: 'When Genocide is Permissible' article removed from The Times of Israel website
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Lost portraits of the Somme: 100 images of Tommies posing before they went over the top. Now can you help to identify them?
Israel-Gaza conflict: 'When Genocide is Permissible' article removed from The Times of Israel website
Mystery of the Siberian holes at the end of the world 'solved': Scientists offer explanation
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...
£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...