Market Report: Taking Stock

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Bridgend, which lost pounds 3.4m in 1995, should have managed a small profit last year but, following two takeovers, may top pounds 1m this year putting the shares on prospective earnings of 9.5. It has almost checked out of leisure to concentrate on distribution. For long it has had a bathroom fittings business and has acquired two car accessory distributors bringing in the Boss brand. Bridgend still owns Stocks Hotel at Birmingham which is in the books at pounds 6m and could be sold. The shares are 22p.

Mears, a support services group, lifted profits 205 per cent to pounds 426,000 and should make pounds 650,000 this year. It has just acquired an electrical contractor for up to pounds 900,000 and is seeking more buys. The shares rose 2.25p to 13p.