Loss halves value of City Site

CITY SITE Estates, the troubled property company, saw almost 50 per cent wiped off its market value after it announced sharply increased losses and warned that it 'could be some time' before it will be able to resume paying dividends, writes Heather Connon.

The group lost pounds 18m in the year to September, against pounds 3.4m in the previous year. Although it made a pounds 353,000 operating profit, following a pounds 1.6m loss last time, this was wiped out by a pounds 15.3m property provision and a pounds 3m write-off of goodwill following the disposal of a subsidiary.

Its shares, which reached a high of 280p in 1989, closed down 11p at 13p, giving the group a market value of just pounds 2m.

Louis Goodman, the managing director, said the company had agreed the terms of the sale of a 'major property' that will be announced soon.

Net assets fell from 174p to 109p a share, or 9p on a fully diluted basis. The losses have wiped out the group's distributable reserves.