Barratt sees share price slip lower

Aim listed Biofuels Corporation warned yesterday that full year earnings will be lower than market expectations.

Aim listed Biofuels Corporation warned yesterday that full year earnings will be lower than market expectations. The company, which operates the UK's largest biodiesel plant, said that the current market conditions had not improved and as a result it had deliberately reduced production levels to run at just 25% capacity throughout January and February. Production is expected to remain low for the foreseeable future.

Biofuels announced in December that lower mineral oil prices, increased input costs and increased manufacturing costs arising from technical issues had affected trading conditions.

At the time the company expressed that it would only take on contracts with a sufficient margin. A remedial engineering programme has now been put into place to resolve the technical problems and contingency financial plans have been drawn up for the next 12 months to cover further technical improvements. The share price more than halved in value on the day falling by 13p to 10.75p.

Shares in Tolent - where we act as broker - extended recent gains following last week's final results. The Gateshead-based construction company reported another year of record profits as turnover increased by 23% in the year to December 2006.

Looking ahead, Tolent said that it expects 2007 to be another `profitable and satisfactory year'. The shares closed up 22.5p, or 6.1%, to 392.5p.

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDS) announced that it had appointed a new director, Anthony Wilks, to its board as well as a new chief executive for its German offshoot - Dr Rudolf Schemer. The shares closed down 3p, or 1.2%, to finish the day at 247.5p. Elsewhere in the regional list, shares in housebuilders Barratt Developments and Bellway fell by 2.4% to 1134p and 2.5% to 1436p respectively.

Jenna Hartley is an Investment Adviser of the Wise Speke division of Brewin Dolphin Securities Ltd.

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