CITY: Queens Moat Houses

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The Independent Online
THE battered hotelier Queens Moat Houses has been calling in the analysts to try to reassure them about the group's financial position. The shares have lost two thirds of their value since May on rumours that all is not well.

'Sure we have nearly pounds 1bn of debt,' Queens Moat told the City. 'Sure we came close to breaching our banking covenants earlier this year. Sure the German market, where we have a large chain of hotels, is turning down. But that doesn't mean we will not pay our dividend or that our shares are not a buy.'

The message seems to have got through. The shares jumped 4p to 38p on Friday and many analysts, notably Nigel Reed at Paribas Capital Markets, think there is more to go.

Reed says that since much of Queens Moat's debt is in marks, the expected fall in German interest rates next year will help it no end. And with profits of pounds 85m estimated for 1992, he thinks Queens Moat's price will go back to around pounds 1.

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