Market Report: Disastrous Redlands and a drooping beerage curb Footsie

Click to follow
The Independent Online
An unlikely combination of brewers and building materials manufacturers succeeded in curbing the stock market with Footsie ending 11.7 points down at 5,065.5.

Builders were demolished by the disastrous Redland figures and the beerage had to contend with flat results from Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries and the Carlsberg-Tetley cut-backs.

Redland crashed 61.5p to 220p, dragging RMC down 31.5p to 975p and Pilkington 4.5p to 149p.

Some housebuilders felt the impact of the Redland stumble with Barratt Developments off 3p to 261.5p and George Wimpey 2p at 120.5p.

Wolves led the brewing retreat, off 37p at 520p. Bass, thwarted from acquiring CT and expected to buy at least one of the three breweries it no longer wants, lost 17.5p to 831p with Scottish & Newcastle off 14.5p to 723p and Whitbread, cutting back brands, 4.5p down at 794.5p. Regional brewers feeling the pinch included Morland and Vaux.

Greenalls, the former brewer now concentrating on retailing and wholesaling which produced sobering figures on Wednesday, lost a further 14p to 400p.

The mad scramble to develop with-it managed cafe/bars and pubs seems to be the cause of the sudden outbreak of brewers' droop. Two of the leading managed pub chains, Regent Inns and JD Wetherspoon, were ruffled with Regent off 20.5p to 303.5p and Wetherspoon 12.5p to 1,482.5p.

Besides unattractive results Footsie had to contend with a steady stream of profit-takers and an uncertain New York display.

Rentokil Initial, the business services group spreading from pest control to security, edged to another peak, up 1.5p to 257.5p. It launches a US investment roadshow next month. Around 22 per cent of its capital is held in America, up from less than 1 per cent two years ago.

Rank, the leisure group, was the best-performing blue chip, up 10p at 363,5p. Henderson Crosthwaite has put the shares on its buy list. Some intriguing stories, however, circulate. Bass, in need of a major strike, is rumoured to be considering a bid; another yarn is Rank may float off one of its divisions with Hard Rock Cafe the favourite to be accorded an independent existence.

The next building society flotation - Northern Rock - lifted some retailers with Great Universal Stores 14.5p to the good at 687p and Boots, with director buying, also an influence, 9p harder at 872.5p.

The old Seagram takeover yarn was given another whirl, spinning the EMI showbiz group a modest 8.5p higher at 591.5p. Granada, following its analyst briefings, rose 11p to 875.5p.

Shell was again the most actively traded stock. Seaq recorded a massive 86 million turnover, leaving the price 6p off at 443p. In the past three days volume has been an astonishing 172 million with derivative trading prompting most of the action.

Biocompatibles International, the health care group, pulled out of its dive, recovering 97.5p to 555p. An American cardiovascular conference provided the impetus. It seems Bio's stents, which hold arteries open during operations, had achieved favourable results in two tests.

The shares have been in the emergency ward with the failure of key deals to materialise with US giant Johnson & Johnson rattling the market.

Music group Boosey & Hawkes was out of tune, down 112.5p to 837.5p, after warning any bid was likely to be "materially" below the market price. Capital Radio was another to sound the wrong note, off 20.5p to 477.5p, a 12 month low. The shares have fallen from 621.5p with the market unsettled by the move into restaurants.

Racal Electronics moved ahead 3.5p to 253.5p on talk of investment presentations. Garage group Reg Vardy firmed 2p to 292.5p after talking to analysts. HR Owen, another motor dealer, edged forward 0.75p to 15.5p after producing interim figures of pounds 1.4m against pounds 780,000. Around pounds 4m is expected for the year.

Meconic, a chemical group, lost a further 52.5p to 262.5p, making an 85p fall since Wednesday's profit warning.

Taking Stock

Watch Stanford Rook. The much-delayed results from its tuberculosis trails in South Africa are expected to be known next week. The shares rose 22.5p to 497.5p; they have climbed 50p this week. Early this year the price touched 635p.

A quiet revolution is under way at LPA Industries, a maker of sockets for cables. Peter Pollock, ex-ML Holdings, is reorganising operations. The London factory is closed and up for sale with activity concentrated on Saffron Walden. Acquisitions are sought. The shares, at 59.5p, are around their high.

Molins, the tobacco machinery group, is likely to attract a bid if results do not improve, believes Charterhouse Tilney, It thinks the shares, 447.5p, are a buy. They were more than 1,000p last year.