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Chocolate company looks worth taking a nibble at; SHARE TIPS CAPITALISATION.

The Mail on Sunday: Magazine publisher Reed Elsevier is escaping many of the woes affecting the wider industry, thanks to its specialist focus. While others are suffering from a consumer spending slowdown and competition from the internet, Reed's profits are on the up.

Its interim results in the summer showed that profits rose 17 per cent to pounds 557 million for the Nrst six months of the year.

Shares - at 599.5p - are currently well below their high of 795p and investors are advised to buy.

The Sunday Telegraph: Chocolate company Thorntons is bucking the doom and gloom in the retail sector, last week reporting growth in like-for-like sales Ngures and reporting a better-than-expected near-20 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profits.

Recent product innovation and store revamps is helping Thorntons to tempt hard-pressed shoppers to treat themselves. Its soon-to-launch Fusions range is being aimed at the up-market sector, while recent addition Thorntons Moments is focused on attracting the family market.

Its efforts are also paying off, with shoppers seemingly prepared to pay more for their chocolate, as Thorntons has successfully passed on higher prices to help offset soaring costs of raw materials.

But there is more potential with the group, which aims to boost its store portfolio from 379 stores to 400 and increase its share of the UK chocolate market by more than half. At 127.5p, shares are a buy.

The Government's new energy saving plans signal good news for insulation specialist SIG. The group is the UK's largest distributor of insulation and the biggest "retro-Ntter", cutting insulation to Nt lofts and helping with installation.

Given Gordon Brown's push to help all households insulate their homes by 2020, this stands to bene Nt Nrms such as SIG significantly and is certain to give it a significant boost in business over the next few years. Shares, currently 496p, are looking good value for the longterm investor.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 15, 2008
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