Shares: Taking Stock

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r Friendly Hotels, with 23 properties, a seven-strong joint venture with British Land and London's Connaught Rooms banqueting centre, is being transformed. Nigel Hicks at stockbroker Panmure Gordon is looking for profits of pounds 5.5m this year (against pounds 3.3m) and pounds 7.3m next.

He points out that new management is to be installed, a US group is pumping in pounds 12m and could take a significant minority stake and the loss-making Serviced Offices division will be sold for pounds 12m. The shares held at 145p against a 12-month high of 162p.

r Wiggins, the property developer which more than doubled half-year profits to pounds 366,000, is rumoured to have a significant property deal in its sights. The shares shaded to 6.25p.