Any punter who’s been exceptionally well behaved over the past year will be sending missives off to the North with a request for Santa to pop down the chimney and gift-wrap a cheeky small cap in a nicely defensible niche, with solid operational skills and credible management, which hasn’t yet crept onto the market’s radar screen.

In a decent market you can hardly move without tripping over a selection that looks promising, but when things are tough that is a lot harder to find...

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