Market report: Taking Stock

MICROGEN jumped 35.5p to 110p. The software and services group, which has issued three profit warnings in a short space of time, has brought in Martyn Ratcliffe, formerly in charge of Europe for US computer group Dell, as executive chairman. Mr Ratcliffe will subscribe for 3.9m shares - representing 10 per cent of the share capital - at 90p. He will also be issued with options over 1 million shares, also at 90p, which he will only be able to exercise fully if the share price reaches 225p.

LINGERIE and knitwear group Martin International gained 2p to 43p after reporting pre-tax profits almost doubled at pounds 2.42m on sales up 10 per cent at pounds 122m. The group supplies Marks & Spencer as well as a large number of international clients. Chairman Michael Kidd expects "further progress in 1998". House broker Beeson Gregory forecasts profits of pounds 3.2m, rising to pounds 4m in 1999.