Masterson’s interim pre-tax profits growth of 20% was somewhat inflated as a result of the income received from the disposal of several of the company’s subsidiaries. The underlying 8% rise in operating profits is a more realistic gauge of the company’s true progress. However, Masterson’s impending merger with Bentley and Knight and its appointment of a new chief executive should mean that the company will be able to sustain growth for the foreseeable fut5ure. The share price has varied little during the course of the year and now stands at ￡ 6.75
During the past year the Bowden Hotel Group has acquired 77 new properties, thus doubling in size . last week the group reported pre-tax profits of ￡ 88 million in the first six months of the year, ahead of expectations and helped by a strong performance from its London-based hotels and newly expanded US business. However. There is still some way to go. Integration of the new acquisitions is still not complete and, while the share price has risen recently, major problems with integration have yet to be solved.
This time last year a share in Usertech was worth just over ￡ 1. six months ago it was worth ￡ 40. today it is priced at under ￡ 8 . if proof were need, here is an illustration of how much of a lottery the technology market can be. But some technology companies are fighting back and Usertech is one of them . What has renewed excitement in the company is the opening of its new American offices in Dallas and its ambitious plans to expand its user base in both North and Latin America.
Renton’s share price has risen gradually over the past year from ￡2.4 to ￡ 3.8 . The company has been successful in choosing prime location for its buildings and has benefited from the buoyant demand for housing. Whilst this demand is expected to slow down somewhat during the next year, investors are encouraged by the company’s decision to move into building supermarkets. Work has already begun on two sites in London, and the company is expected to sign a contract within the next month for building four large supermarkets in Scotland.
Milton Dishes has been through a shake-up over the past year. The group, which has been cutting margins and improving marketing, may post a small profit this year. The many members of the Milton family, who between them own 58 per cent of the business, have been watching the share price rise steadily and several are looking to sell. Trade rival Ruskin has bought up just over 17 percent of the shares and could well be spurred into further action by the signs of a recovery at the firm.
l Read the text about career-planning services.
l Choose the best sentence from the opposite page to fill each of the gaps .
l For each gap 9– 14, mark one letter (A-H) on your Answer Sheet .
l Do not use any letter more than once .
l There is an example at the beginning .(0)
Your Career Path Can Lead You Anywhere
We used to be advised to plan our careers. We were told to make a plan during the later stages of our education and continue with it through our working lives.(0)_____ some people still see careers in this way. However, to pursue a single option for life has always been unrealistic.
Planning for a single career assumes that we set out with a full understanding of our likes and dislikes and the employment opportunities open to us. (9)____ For most people this degree of certainty about the future does not exist.
Our initial choice of career path and employer is often based on inadequate knowledge and false perceptions. But with age and experience, we develop new interests and aptitudes and our priorities alter. The structure of the employment market and, indeed of employment itself, is subject to change as both new technologies and new work systems are introduced (10) _____ We must face the uncertainties of a portfolio career.