The data looks promising for MR
Sunday 29 September 1996
The question now is whether, if he can sort out any remaining problems at the group, Mr Haylock can deliver on his promises of expanding. He sees the future for MR as an overall document manager for businesses - from the old MR speciality of microfilm archives, to outsourcing and data capture. New technology will play a large part in the plan, and the group wants to move ahead with small acquisitions in areas where it is still weak. His promise is that MR will be a changed company within two years, or else it will have failed its shareholders. If it works, profits will be back on a strong upward trend again. Worth backing.
ON TO A gourmet treat for lovers of Chinese and Thai food: Oriental Restaurant Group comes to the market next week via a placing at 154p to raise pounds 4m, valuing the business at pounds 14.7m. It combines a wholesale Thai food business for the Thai restaurant industry inside the M25, alongside a restaurant division, with restaurants, one in Soho, and three in the City of London. Given the combination of quality food, and a premium pricing policy, the group could do well.
A NEW report from Klesch & Co - the specialist debt trader, which follows the fortunes of companies going through difficult times - reckons Queens Moat Houses (18p) is doing its best at an operating level. But the prospects of it reaching its targets for paying down its mountainous debts on time look worse than ever.
Negative net worth of pounds 198.5m lies uneasily alongside a market capitalisation for the shares of pounds 74m. Although the report concentrates on the value of the company's debt, the message to equity investors is stark: at these levels, the shares are grossly overvalued. Avoid.
ON Wednesday, JJB Sports, a leading independent sports retailer, announces interim figures for the six months to 31 July. The market has pencilled in pre-tax profits of pounds 6.5m. Euro 96, the Olympic Games, and the presence of British tennis number one Tim Henman, says the company, have all boosted sales.
With pre-tax profits having grown strongly since it was floated in 1994 at 215p, the shares, at 280p, although on a premium, remain attractive.
BY CONTRAST, figures this week from another retailer, House of Fraser (151.5p), are unlikely to set the pulse racing. Losses are set to rise to around pounds 3m (pounds 0.5m), on sales of pounds 330m (pounds 322.6m), for the six months to July.
The new group chief executive will also publish the findings of a strategic review. Even if there is some good news, HoF has yet to have the look of any of the other retail recovery stories of the last few years. Avoid.
SHARES in JBA, the software developer, are on an expensive rating, at around 25 times forecast earnings for 1996. Given their rise from around 150p, to 509p currently, clearly there is a weight of expectations on the company. At the recent full-year results, sales of pounds 124.7m (pounds 90.7m), gave rise to pre-tax profits of pounds 8.7m (pounds 6.13m).
It seems the business is well ahead in its plans to develop a global presence, given added credibility by its strong ties to IBM. Some exciting prospects are also in store in continental Europe. Although net debt rose to pounds 17.3m from pounds 8m - high for a software house - the bulk of current development costs should now be tailing off. So JBA should be able to boost its cashflow strongly as well over the next two years. Pricey, but the shares are a tentative buy.
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
Far-right organisation has defended its actions on Facebook
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
FCKH8: Provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing reinstated by YouTube
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
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