Given the thin ice on which Greycoat was skating - its banking covenants would have been breached had its 152 per cent gearing risen by just 14 percentage points - Ernst's decision that this was acceptable must have come as a relief.
But the ice is even thinner now, judging by yesterday's figures, which included the pounds 15m shortfall. After-tax losses of pounds 39.2m ( pounds 8.1m) also reflected pounds 13m of losses on sales of other properties and a further pounds 7m provision against remaining sites.
A 15 per cent decline in value since March hardly bodes well for this year's gearing calculation. Mind you, at 12p a share the City has pretty well given up hope anyway.Reuse content