Taking Stock

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The Independent Online
r Sira Business Services, a cleaning group, rose 0.75p to 4p after disclosing half-year profits had more than doubled to pounds 285,000. More than pounds 800,000 is likely for the year against pounds 274,000.

Since arriving on AIM in April Sira has put through three takeovers costing more than pounds 1m.

Other deals are also in the pipeline. The expansion has given Sira a national spread, a development which is expected to cut into profit margins.

r A sophisticated play on British Gas is offered by BZW. It has issued covered warrants on the soon-to-be separate British Gas and Centrica. BG warrants are issued at 80p and Centrica at 25p. They are seen as offering, in effect, a chance to take part in the split as it happens.