Transport group integrates its buys

THE UK stock market was in the doldrums yesterday after a lacklustre session from Wall Street on Monday amid concerns about the continuing sub-prime problems.

THE UK stock market was in the doldrums yesterday after a lacklustre session from Wall Street on Monday amid concerns about the continuing sub-prime problems. Banking stocks were among the heaviest fallers.

In the regional portfolio, there was news of Hargreaves Services, D1 Oils and DermaSalve Sciences.

Hargreaves Services reported a pre-close trading update for the six months to the end of November. The group is one of the UK’s leading providers of transport and support services to the waste and energy sector.

The company said first-half profits would be in line with its expectations and it was encouraged by recent trading and the outlook in the minerals division. The rapidly expanding business said it was making good progress integrating all its recent acquisitions and the order book remained strong. Shares closed at 496.25p.

Biodiesel maker D1 Oils said it expected the first crop of crude jatropha oil to arrive on schedule in the second half of 2008. The joint planting venture with BP, called D1-BP Fuel Crops, began on October 1.

Jatropha is a non-edible oilseed that can grow on drought-prone land which is unsuitable for other crops. Higher prices for crude and conventional oils have reinforced the group’s strategy to explore plant science and related crop technology to produce biodiesel.

DermaSalve Sciences, the skincare group, said it had secured a five-year purchase order with a South African distributor to supply SafeClense Gel into Africa. SafeClense gel has been proved effective against some superbugs, including MRSA, cholera and the bird flu virus.

It was also recently subject to an independent virology study which showed it destroyed the HIV virus within 30 seconds.

The share price ended the day up at 4.875p.

Christine Hawdon Christine.hawdon@ wise-speke.co.uk

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