Investment: No Pain, No Gain: Our Man's Portfolio - It's fishy, but it's fun

DEEP-SEA LEISURE has not made much of a splash in the City since it floated on the Alternative Investment Market three years ago. Although no slouch when it comes to consumer public relations, it has adopted a low investment profile, hiding its merits under the proverbial bushel.

But its trading success indicates a wider following is deserved and its shares, although highly speculative, will add a touch of excitement to the no pain, no gain portfolio. Make no mistake, DSL remains in the development stage and things could still go horribly wrong. But if developments proceed according to plan and the group's two visitor attractions continue to prosper the shares should be a rewarding flutter.

The company was launched by the managing director Phil Crane, a director of the old Cityvision video chain, seven years ago. Its first venture was Deep-Sea World, a walk-through aquarium at North Queensferry in Scotland. Last year a similar aquarium, the Blue Planet, opened at Cheshire Oaks, near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. The walk-through idea is popular in the US and Australia. Customers wander along a clear plastic tunnel inside an aquarium, plunged into the underwater world of sharks and tropical fish.

Deep-Sea World has been profitable from its launch and the Blue Planet, although opening late and missing four key trading months, appears to have contributed to last year's figures. DSL produced profits of more than pounds 1m. But exceptional charges left the company with a pounds 49,000 loss. The Blue Planet development was responsible. Charges included a payment to nearby Chester Zoo for its agreement not to oppose a pounds 3.1m grant from a European development agency for the 18-acre project. The Euro grant, bank money and the pounds 3m-plus raised when DSL floated on AIM, financed the pounds 14m Blue Planet concept.

The financial drain has coloured the market's approach to the shares. The company appears to be trading well and said it was "on line" to produce its best results. DSL shares were sold to investors at 160p. They did hit 390p but have drifted along untroubled at around 250p for much of the past year.

The group does not appear to have more expensive go-it-alone projects, and much of its future expansion may be through management contracts and joint ventures which, of course, are nowhere near as capital-intensive. Mr Crane, with nearly 22 per cent of the capital, is harbouring hopes of developments in Germany, Holland and Spain.

Besides the excitement over Allied Domecq, one other constituent of the no pain, no gain portfolio has attracted attention. Gowrings, the garages to fast-food restaurants combination, produced record interim profits and its shares climbed to 151.5p against 103.5p when they joined the portfolio in April. They are now 147.5p.

Paul Hickman at stockbroker Peel Hunt has put a 200p target on the shares and expects profits this year to hit pounds 1.94m, up from pounds 1.61m.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Sales Team Leader - Wakefield, West Yorkshire

£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders