Losses continue at Harrington

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The Independent Online
MAGNUS GRIMOND

Shares in Harrington Kilbride tumbled a further 6p to 27p yesterday after the troubled publishing group warned that first-half losses had continued "at a high level". The shares only recently returned from suspension at 30.5p.

Harrington said it would announce results for the six months to June at the end of this month, when it would also reveal details of a refinancing likely to be at a significant discount to the current market price.

Charles Wynne Thomas, company secretary, said yesterday that meant a price below the 33p at which the shares closed on Monday.

He said a circular would be sent to shareholders towards the end of next week with the full details of the share issue and the results, ahead of the annual meeting on 31 July.

Ian Fletcher, who took over as chief executive in April and holds 4.37 per cent of the shares, is expected either to increase his stake or to play some sort of underwriting role in the refinancing, or both.

The company is currently only trading with the support of its bankers, after running up losses last year following the appearance of around pounds 3.5m in bad debts associated with a disastrous venture into eastern Europe. Preliminary results issued earlier this month showed the 1994 deficit had deepened to pounds 5.13m from a restated figure of pounds 1.08m in 1993, and the company said it would have to raise new money to help wipe out a deficiency of net assets.

Losses in the first half are expected to reflect a hangover from last year's bad debt problem and charges to cover restructuring in the conference division.

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