Little interest as Rank attempts to revamp Butlin's

MARKET REPORT

Rank, the leisure group which has failed to sparkle since Andrew Teare was drafted in as chief executive, could at last be on the verge of offering a little encouragement to a disillusioned stock market.

Tomorrow it is expected to hold investment presentations on its Butlin's holiday camp off-shoot, a business still many believe entrenched in the hi-di-hi days of the 1950s.

Rank has acknowledged Butlin's is past its sell-by date. Last month Nigel Turnbull, finance director, said: "People on social security are coming and finding they can stay cheaper than at home."

Under its founder, Sir Billy Butlin, it transformed the British seaside holiday, prompting a host of imitators. But the holiday camp concept has fallen victim to the holiday centres of Center Parcs and continental package deals.

It is expected that the Rank revamp, which also embraces its Haven holiday camps, will offer a complete new look with a dramatic upgrading of facilities. With the reorganisation being announced at the end of the holiday season it would not be surprising if Rank accompanies the revamp with the closure of some of its old camps.

Since Mr Teare arrived from English China Clays the stock market has fallen steadily out of love with the famous old company.

Mr Teare has taken the group into pubs and sold much of the family silver. But it was a profits warning in June which caused dismay.

A little over a year ago Rank shares were riding at 545p; yesterday they rose just 1p to 354.5p.

The shares were helped by evidence the seemingly half-hearted share buy- back was still under way as a further 2.8 million shares were acquired at 352p.

The rest of the market was, at least superficially, in splendid form with Footsie up 52.7 points at 4,870.2. But New York was closed and London trading was dismally thin with even the 500 million break-even volume out of reach.

It could be argued that the market was operating in a vacuum. The advance was largely due to a few special situations.

Properties were active with British Land up 16p to 589.5p on suggested SBC Warburg support.

Burford, the Nigel Wray property company which has spawned a succession of spin-offs, including the Trocadero leisure group, was firm on suggestions a deal with MEPC could be under consideration.

MEPC has lost its place as the nation's second-largest property company to British Land and is seen as being in need of a management injection.

The story going the rounds is it will, in effect, attempt a reverse takeover of Burford to bring Mr Wray and his team on board.

MEPC is vulnerable. Earlier this year it seemed near to linking with the Hammerson property group and in June British Land was rumoured to be on the verge of striking. MEPC rose 1.5p to 470p and Burford was 1p harder at 121p.

Charter, the industrial group, edged ahead 2p to 771p as Mercury Asset Management declared a 12 per cent interest and Merrill Lynch produced a 900p target.

Bank of Scotland was another to enjoy analytical support with NatWest Securities thought to have lifted its year's profits forecast from pounds 688m to pounds 746m. The shares rose 7.5p to 423.5p. P&O enjoyed a 5p gain to 655p as HSBC talked about a possible break-up valuation.

General Electric Co improved 12p to 393.5p on reports Sir Roger Hurn, chief of Smiths Industries, will take over as chairman when Lord Prior retires next year.

Building shares drew some support from house builder Persimmon which checked in with more than doubled six months profits. Its shares rose 9p to 240.5p.

The Far East fall-out continued to weigh on giant banker HSBC, off 10p at 1,910p. But Standard Chartered perked up 6p to 832.5p.

Shield Diagnostic rose 17.5p to 575p on suggestions of European presentations and ML Laboratories, up 4p to 171.5p, was helped by investment meetings.

SFI, the old Surrey Free Inns, was little changed at 123.5p in the new slimline form and the JD Wetherspoon pubs chain firmed to 1,417.5p, a peak, ahead of Thursday's results which should show profits around pounds 18m against pounds 13.1m.

Plasmon, which caught the market on the hop with a profit warning, is backing out of volume production of CD discs. The shares were riding at 241.5p last year; they rose 3p to 45.5p on the restructuring.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Business Analyst (Agile, SDLC, software)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Finance Manager - Bank - Leeds - £300/day

£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...

Compliance Officer - CF10, CF11, Compliance Oversight, AML, FX

£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn