I’m thrilled this week, dear reader. I have a choice of two large pegs from which to hang my observations: Euro 2004 or Wimbledon.
So shall I focus on the beer-fuelled footie? Or the Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque-drenched racquet and ball shindig that Mrs Broker and I rather enjoy over a bowl of strawberries and cream? Well, neither, actually.

So dimmed am I by English prospects that I am rather more enchanted by the story of the private spacecraft, the pathetically named SpaceShipOne, that flew to the edge of space earlier this week.

But it was not the only thing taking off recently (see what I did there?). Also soaring into the stratosphere was builders merchant Heiton. Its shares took a giant leap for the building materials stars by rocketing 29.9% to 442p.

The astronomic increase was caused by the rejection of the latest offer for the company by Ireland-based materials group Grafton. At about £4.20 a share, Heiton believed the offer undervalued the company and its prospects. As if to ram home this point, Heiton announced a 28% increase in pre-tax profit this week for the 12 months to 30 April.

A share price that made more of a small step than a giant leap (wearing thin?) was multidisciplinary consultant White Young Green. Last week it unveiled its latest acquisition, DWP Consulting, for £800,000. DWP is quite a major outfit in Leicester so I hear, but the chaps and chapettes in the City clearly don’t rate this as a purchase of galactic proportions – shares rose a measly 0.5% to194.5p.

One company continuing its heavy descent back to earth is support services firm Jarvis. Note that I

Berkeley’s results are due today. Pidgley to start the housebuilders’ fight back against a dubious City

Hunch of the week

have removed the usual prefix “beleaguered”. I really have started to feel quite sorry for the group, given its recent spurt of contract wins in the PFI sector.

The Square Mile feels less sympathy. Confirmation that Steve Norris is to stay on as chairman could not counter the latest blow that leading light Rob Johnson has resigned four months after taking the helm of the accommodation services division. The price fell 8.8% to 83p.

Fellow support services group Mouchel Parkman didn’t achieve lift-off last week; it was static at 214.5p. A somewhat dull part of this week’s trek across the industry’s star share prices.

Oh, alright, I’ll stop it. The space metaphor was starting to make