Property group plans changes

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THE QUEUE of companies seeking court approval for capital reconstructions means that English & Overseas Properties is likely to have to wait until November before it can obtain permission for its own proposal, writes Heather Connon.

The group is planning to reorganise its share capital and reserves, transferring some of its pounds 5.9m share premium to distributable reserves, to enable it to resume paying dividends. Its results have been hit by provisions that have depleted these reserves, but it continues to trade profitably.

It provided pounds 659,000 in the six months to June, adding to the pounds 2.5m provided last year, pushing it to a pounds 438,000 pre-tax loss, slightly lower than the pounds 551,000 loss suffered last time. The provisions are mainly due to the liquidation of a tenant company at its Maidstone property in Kent and problems with a joint venture.

The loss per share was 1.88p (9.46p) and there is no interim dividend. Jim Clark, chairman, said he hoped to pay a final dividend if the reconstruction proposals were approved.