Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries' chief executive, Ralph Findlay, spelled at why he will not step up the company’s share buying programme at its annual shareholder’s meeting on Friday. He said his stance might change if he thought there were not any acquisitions to go for. Findlay said some flexibility was “not a bad thing”. Wolves has bought back just £5m of shares his year to keep its options open in case of potential acquisitions which it was keen to pursue. Findlay said there were still opportunities to look at. He said the company had made “good progress” developing new-build pub sites in areas as far afield from its Midlands heartland as Kent. W&D’s brewing arm has announced the launch of Marston’s FC (Finest Creamy) bitter, on Friday. The launch of the new beer, an attempt to broaden distribution in UK pubs and attract more young adults, follows the recent addition of India pale ale Marston’s Old Empire. The new “smooth” bitter is served colder and can be stocked by a wider variety of outlets than traditional cask-conditioned ale. Altium Securities raised its price target for Wolverhampton & Dudley to 850p. The Times 24/01/04 page 55 Financial Times 24/01/04 page 4 (Money & Business) The Daily Telegraph 24/01/04 page 31

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