Starmin revises figures to reveal 3.9m pounds more loss

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STARMIN, the quarrying group from which the Abdullah brothers resigned abruptly last month, yesterday said that pounds 3.9m had been wiped off 1992 profits following a review of a number of recent deals and a reassessment of its asset values.

The changes mean that the group lost pounds 11.9m before tax last year compared with pounds 8.1m previously reported. Its net assets have also dropped from pounds 21.1m to pounds 19.6m, 38 per cent below the pounds 31.8m reported in 1991.

The biggest adjustments arose from the disposal of landfill rights at three quarries and some plant and equipment in December 1991. The original purchaser, Chepstow Environmental Services, which had offered pounds 1.74m, did not complete although pounds 1.3m deferred consideration due from CES was kept on the balance sheet.

The assets and rights were instead sold to Jeniva, a private company, in exchange for 32.8 million shares. Starmin also injected pounds 160,000 cash into Jeniva as part of the deal. Jeniva's accounts for the year to July 1992, however, showed that it had lost pounds 799,000 and had pounds 2.2m more liabilities than assets.

In a statement issued yesterday Starmin said it was writing off the amount due from CES and had written down its shareholding in Jeniva from pounds 750,000 to pounds 438,000. A pounds 250,000 profit on the sale of another quarry to Jeniva has also been excluded from the accounts.

It has also re-examined the purchase of some assets and liabilities of St Mary's, a plant hire business bought in March for pounds 300,000 cash and pounds 2.1m of stock and land. The pounds 1m profit on the disposal of the stock and land has now been excluded from the accounts 'because of the inherent uncertainties in the valuations of the assets concerned'.

A further pounds 1m has been written off the value of various Starmin assets. The final dividend of 0.2p will not now be paid.

No one at the company was available for comment but Owen Rout, the former chairman who has been acting as chief executive since Raschid and Osman Abdullah left, said in a statement that the underlying businesses were sound. Lord Parkinson, the former government minister, is now chairman.

Bank borrowings are pounds 5.6m and there is a further pounds 2.7m of leasing commitments.

Starmin said its bankers had confirmed that they would continue to support the group.

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