Regus reassures investors despite tough trading

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Regus, the troubled supplier of serviced offices that shocked the markets with a profits warning last month, expects trading conditions to remain difficult for the rest of the year but reassured investors that it has enough cash to stay afloat.

Shares in Regus leapt 16 per cent to 46p, valuing the company at £268m, after Mark Dixon, its founder and chief executive, bought 5 million shares. They were floated last October at 260p.

Unveiling a second-quarter operating loss of £6.1m, Mr Dixon said: "We expect conditions to worsen in the third quarter but pick up in the fourth quarter. America is now rolling along the bottom but there is worse to come in Europe."

The loss compared with a £2.8m profit the year before and included an exceptional £3.2m charge related to the aborted bid for US rival HQ Global Workplaces and losses in joint ventures. Regus said it may also take a further charge in the third or fourth quarter to cover a write-down of the value of shares held by its employee trust. Turnover for the three months to 30 June increased by 35 per cent to £133m.

Mr Dixon said the company was on track to break even for the full year, after increasing the size of the business by 50 per cent.