TAKING STOCK

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The Independent Online
rThere is the merest flicker of life in the shares of Shoprite, the former food discounter now regarded as little more than a shell company. In the past few days the shares have hardened; they gained 0.5p to 7p yesterday. Last year Shoprite sold 117 shops to Kwik Save for pounds 53m, leaving it with eight supermarkets, a wine warehouse, a car dealership and other investments in the Isle of Man. Before its discount shops last year became casualties of the food price war the shares hit 243p.

rAllen, the construction group that has built a strong tool hire division, should continue to prosper in a tough market. Greig Middleton expects profits to climb from pounds 6.2m to pounds 7.75m this year and touch pounds 8.5m next. It believes the shares are undervalued at 176p.

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