TBI profit marks end of Markheath problems

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TBI, the property company, said yesterday it had overcome all the problems inherited from Markheath as it announced profits before tax of pounds 22.5m for the year ending 31 March, after a pounds 68.8m loss in 1992/93, writes Diane Coyle.

The figures were heavily distorted by restructuring after the reversal of indebted Markheath into Thomas Bailey Investments, a privately-owned Welsh developer, in March. Debt forgiveness of pounds 27.2m provided the main explanation for the profit.

Paul Guy, TBI's chief executive, said there had been a full clearance of the Markheath problems. The balance sheet has been strengthened by a pounds 24m share placing and new borrowing facilities with Barclays.

The company has made a one- off payment of pounds 47m to previous lenders. Financial restructuring became inevitable for Markheath after it breached covenants on loans from Midland and ANZ last summer.

TBI's net asset value at the year-end was pounds 7.2m. Mr Guy said the property portfolio - mainly commercial and industrial development properties in South Wales and north and west London - was conservatively valued at pounds 96.5m.

Annual rental income was about pounds 7m - more than interest and administration costs. 'It is a battle getting any rent increases through at the moment,' Mr Guy said. However, he said South Wales rents were so low he thought there would be increases.