Developer reduces loss by 92% in wake of rights issue

UK property developer Quintain Estates has announced it has reduced its pre-tax loss from £129.1m to £10.1m in the year ending 31 March 2010.

The loss was largely attributable to the sale of investments at below book values. The stake in the O2 Arena released £11.8m of capital for Quintain when it was sold last October.

During the year the business had to be recapitalised with a £183.1m rights issue and consequently posted a 1.5% annual fall in the value of its assets to 133p per share, down from 135p a year earlier.

The rights issue also helped the company to narrow its losses and put it in a better financial position to proceed with its growth plans. Quintain announced in January that it plans to make £133.5m in acquisitions this year and to double its fund management arm within three years.

Adrian Wyatt, Quintain’s chief executive, said: “Throughout the period we have progressively reinforced the business: the cash repatriation target was achieved ahead of schedule, overheads were reduced by a further 12.4% and the company undertook a transformational rights issue.

“The combined result of these activities was to reduce debt materially, adding considerable strength to our balance sheet and building a secure platform from which to focus on delivering value.

“Although the UK may well be facing a period of slow economic growth, or even decline, this should not impede reaching our primary target of being recurring cash flow positive or impact materially the value we intend to capture from our regeneration schemes.”