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.
It is clear from the recent past that we cannot foresee the changes which will affect our working lives. The pace of change is accelerating , as a result of which traditional career plans will be of very limited use. 11_____ They will need updating to reflect changes in our own interests as well as in the external work environment. Flexible workers already account for about half the workforce. 12______ We are likely to face periods as contract workers, self-employed freelances, consultants, temps or part-timers.
Many employers encourage staff to write a personal development development PDP 13 Although some people use it only to review the skills needed for their job, a PDP could be the nucleus of wider career plan –setting out alternative long-term learning needs and a plan of self-development.
A report issued by the Institute of Employment Studies advises people to enhance their employability by moving from traditional technical skills towards the attainment of a range of transferable skills. 14 Instead, special schemes should be established to encourage people to examine their effectiveness and to consider a wider range of needs.
0A B C D E F G H
A This dual effect means that the relationship between employers and workers has evolved to such and extent that we can no longer expect a long-term relationship with one employer.
B. It carries an implicit assumption that we ourselves, and the jobs we enter, will change little during our working lives.
C. This growth suggests that a career plan should not be expressed only in terms of full-time employment but should make provision for the possibility of becoming one of the.
D this is a summary of one’s personal learning needs and an action plan to meet them.
E Consequently, they must now accommodate a number of objectives and enable us to prepare for each on a contingency basis.
F However, it warns that employers often identify training needs through formal appraisals, which take too narrow a view of development.
G . Such a freelance of consultant would be constantly in demand.
H We were expected to work towards that one clear goal and to consider a career change as a bad thing.
9 B 10 A 11E 12C 13D 14F