Enterprise Inns reported strong trading despite weak consumer spending, higher costs and greater legislative pressure on its licensees. It expected fiscal first-half operating profit and pre-tax earnings to meet its forecast. Merrill Lynch, which has set a target price of £10, advised buying the stock at 917p (this week’s price 929p). The broker sees the pub operator’s valuation as undemanding. It believes there is significant investment opportunity in the current pub estate, which is underpinned by a £5bn property base. The Times 01/04/06 page 50 (Need to know) The Daily Telegraph 01/04/06 page 28 (DataBase), page 2 (Your Money section)