Slight dip in results at TransAtlantic Holdings

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The Independent Online
TRANSATLANTIC Holdings, the life insurance and property vehicle of the South African businessman Donald Gordon that joined the stock market last July, made pre-tax profits of pounds 60.7m in the year to the end of December against pounds 61.2m the previous year.

The shares rose 1p to 278p, up from a low of 166p last October and comfortably above the 250p rights issue price of last April.

Sun Life, 50 per cent-owned by TransAtlantic and 50 per cent by Union des Assurances de Paris, chipped in pounds 36.7m operating profit against pounds 18.7m the previous year, when it was 27.7 per cent-owned.

The interest charge rose to pounds 35.7m from pounds 7.4m after a reduction of capitalised interest on property developments to pounds 11.6m from pounds 32.4m.

Interest capitalisation on the former Capital & Counties' Lakeside shopping centre at Thurrock ceased in June 1991. Its valuation rose to pounds 380m from pounds 325m, reflecting 'its exceptional turnover rent potential'.

Mr Gordon, chairman, continues to bang the drum about the lack of commercial validity of capitalisation factors applied by UK valuers to large shopping complexes. He said Lakeside, which is doing exceptionally well, was a special case because its rentals rose with turnover.

TransAtlantic, 54 per cent owned by Liberty Life of South Africa and 18 per cent by UAP, is looking for insurance acquisitions in the UK, US and places like Singapore and Malaysia, which have similar accounting and legal systems.

The dividend was raised to 12p net from 11.45p.