Investment: Shy Anglo sidles into the market light

No Pain, No Gain: Our Man's Portfolio

SOME COMPANIES enjoy obscurity. Little-known Anglo Pacific is one which seems to have determinedly kept a low profile. Yet the mining group has recovered from a run of losses and seems to have settled down with profits holding above pounds 2m; it has, for good measure, just paid its first dividend since 1988.

The last profits of what really is an Anglo-Australian group were pounds 2.3m, with Australia and the UK, or to be more precise Scotland, making similar contributions.

North of the border, Anglo runs a sand quarry in Fife and a marble quarry in Sutherland. It also embraces a talc deposit in Shetland. The Australian spread involves two Queensland coal mines where it collects royalties on sales. There is also a 3.9 per cent interest in quoted Brancote Holdings which has a promising gold prospect in Argentina.

The company's activities are not perhaps particularly exciting in these high tech days when a loss-making venture plugged in to the right connections can enjoy a dizzy stock market following.

Yet Anglo offers encouraging signs of improving prospects. The Fife quarry sells sand to bottle-makers and overall sales are "robust", with higher value sales growing. The marble operation supplies materials for road making as well as higher margin decorative stone to garden centres and the building industry.

At the talc site there is talk of joint developments or even a sale. There have been rumours that the RTZ mining giant is interested.

And in Australia the income from coalmining should be growing. One of the two mines was out of commission for most of 1998 - Anglo's last reported financial year - due to an industrial dispute. It has since been sold by Atlantic Richfield to RTZ and should now be working at full production.

Anglo's recently published accounts cover 1998; the delay in producing them is largely due to the Australian connection. Chairman Peter Boycott expects the group to produce higher profits and, like many company heads with quoted shares for takeover ammunition, is on the lookout for acquisitions.

But he would not have to rely on offering shares. Anglo's Australian royalty income provides a steady cash flow and its return to the dividend list, with a token 0.1p a share payment, cost only pounds 84,000.

Besides trading prospects, there are other signs of developments at so- shy Anglo. The company, which arrived on the old Unlisted Securities Market in 1984, has changed financial advisers and stockbrokers and its biggest shareholder, the South African Standard Bank, has picked up just more than one million shares, lifting its interest to 15.9 per cent. Directors have also added to their shareholdings.

Anglo came under new management three years ago. Since then overheads have been cut and the group operations tidied up.

The shares topped 100p in Anglo's early stock market days. The intervening years have been unkind and the price started this year at 12.25p, despite share buybacks.

The results and dividend payment have pushed the shares to 17.5p highest for a couple of years but still a shade below the signalled price of directors' options.

On some yardsticks they look expensive, selling at more than 30 times last reported earnings but a more realistic calculation puts them on historic earnings of around eight; the shares should be a solid addition to the no pain, no gain portfolio.

the portfolio so far

Share Date tipped Price Price now

Allied Domecq 3/3/99 482.5p 551.5p Galliford 5/5/99 20p 21.5p Global 19/5/99 20p 20.25p Gowrings 7/4/99 103.5p 127.5p Montana 17/3/99 182.5p 219.5p Paramount 21/4/99 15p 21.5p Regal Hotel 24/2/99 29.5p 26p Safeway 14/4/99 248.5p 255p

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
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: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

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

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions