Flextech plunges to loss of pounds 2.9m

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The Independent Online
FLEXTECH fell to a pounds 2.9m loss in the six months to September from profits last time of pounds 3.9m as it completed its switch from oilfield services to cable television. Disappointed investors marked the shares down 5p to 81p.

Children's Channel, the main operating subsidiary, lost pounds 2m, the same as last time. Flextech said it was hit by costs of expanding further into Europe, setting up a licensing arm and developing an evening service. There were also head office expenses, a deficit at IVS Cable Holdings, which holds a franchise in Wessex, and residual costs of the restructuring.

During the period Flextech sold its oil business Exploration and Production Services for pounds 55.3m, distributed pounds 42m to shareholders and lifted its interest in Children's Channel.

Revenues from the channel, which is broadcast from the Astra satellite to cable services and direct to homes with dishes, increased by 30 per cent. The channel is now potentially available in 30 million homes across Europe.

The group was interest-neutral over the period but since August has been earning interest from a pounds 6m cash pile. There was no interim dividend but there is 'a chance' of a final payout.

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