Market report: Taking Stock

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THE Ambishus Pub Co, with just 31 outlets, enjoyed a rare old ferment. First dealings saw the shares surge from a 100p introduction to 325p; they settled at 265p. The obscure company has all the ingredients to make an impact. Its backers include David Bruce, creator of the Firkin pub concept, Michael Cannon (JA Devenish and The Magic Pub Co) and entrepreneur Luke Johnson (PizzaExpress). Chairman is Philip Snook who used to be managing director of The Magic Pub Co. Managing director Colin Stevens signalled expansion. The company had already been contacted by companies interested in being acquired.

BIRSE, a construction group, gained 3.5p to 22.5p on takeover speculation. After a wounding loss-making run, it has made profits in the past two years. At the interim stage profits of pounds 2,086,000 were ahead of last year's total. Some expect pounds 5m for the year just ended.