Raglan confident despite losses

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RAGLAN Property Trust, which yesterday reported losses up from pounds 1.6m to pounds 2.4m for the year to 31 March, said it had cleared the decks for a return to health, writes Russell Hotten.

The figures pre-date a capital restructuring in April, since when Raglan has signed development proposals for a large shopping centre in Banbury and raised pounds 1.3m through property disposals.

The results include write-offs of pounds 1.4m and a reduction in the value of property after a valuation in March. Turnover sank from pounds 9.4m to pounds 354,000, and again there is no dividend.

Having taken the axe to the company, the new directors are expected to expand Raglan rapidly. There have been strong market rumours that additional capital is available from the Hong Kong investors who backed the restructuring.

Rod Pearson, managing director, said: 'These figures are historic. They are from a period when the company was in serious financial difficulty. The company is now in an entirely different position.' He had noticed improvements in the property market, but was giving nothing away about future plans for Raglan.

The restructuring earlier this year included raising pounds 7m from new and existing shareholders, and conversion by creditors of pounds 3m of debt into additional equity.

In June Raglan bought 18 high street shops from Dunn & Co and Phillips Pension Fund for pounds 7.5m. The deal was part-financed by a pounds 6.3m five-year loan from NM Rothschild.