Taking Stock

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The Independent Online
r Century Inns is expected to announce tomorrow the acquisition of around 100 pubs from Pubmaster, including the Tap & Spile managed house chain. The deal could cost pounds 30m and may be funded through a rights issue. It would lift the Century estate to more than 500 outlets and represent its first big move into managed pubs. Century, run by former brewery executive Alistair Arkley, is one of the pubcos formed to take advantage of the Beer Orders which forced large brewers to cut their tied estates.

r A profit surge at Wiggins, the property group, is forecast by stockbroker Greig Middleton. It expects profits to have climbed pounds 3.9m to pounds 4.9m in the year ended March and then to reach pounds 7.5m this year. The shares are 9.25p.