Regalian comes close to the black: Luxury developer discusses new developments with its banks

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REGALIAN Properties, the luxury flat developer that made a pre-tax loss of pounds 84m last year, said yesterday it had come close to returning to profit in the six months to September.

David Goldstone, chairman, added that, having reduced Regalian's debts from pounds 140m to pounds 15m in 18 months, he was talking to the company's banks to raise funds for new developments.

Planned residential schemes include 200 flats in London Docklands, where, during the first half, Regalian completed the sale of 168 units at Free Trade Wharf. The first phase of the new development, 75 flats, is expected to be completed by next autumn.

Regalian also plans to convert a 1960s office block on the Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament into 40 flats. Lord Archer, the politician and writer, already occupies the top floor of Alembic House.

Mr Goldstone added that he expected to develop a former goods yard in Paddington, which Regalian owns jointly with NFC, the freight company, within the next two years. He said that the announcement of the Heathrow Express and Crossrail proposals would make it one of the most important sites in the West End office market.

The loss before tax emerged at pounds 869,000, compared with a pounds 21.5m shortfall a year earlier, following heavy stock write-downs. The loss per share was 0.74p (16.2p loss) and there is no dividend. The shares, which fell to 3p last year, having peaked at 297p in 1987, closed 2p higher at 23.5p. Net assets per share at the half year were 36p.