MARKET REPORT : Taking Stock

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The Independent Online
r Ofex-listed Ritz Music Group, home to Irish crooner Daniel O'Donnell, reported pre-tax profits of pounds 628,000 on sales of pounds 4.8m in the nine months to December. The results, the first since Ritz was floated two months ago, are slightly ahead of those set out in the prospectus. Ritz remains on course for a projected full-year profit of pounds 551,000 after incurring a small fourth-quarter loss. Helped by Mr O'Donnell, who tops the UK country & western charts, shares in Ritz have jumped from their placing price of 55p to 78p.

r Dealings in AorTech, the heart valve manufacturer, are due to begin tomorrow. Placed by broker Bell Lawrie at 125p, the shares are seen opening at 140p. The company is raising a net pounds 4.5m and is worth pounds 21.5m at the placing price.

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