Great Portland Estates P.L.C. announces earnings up 6.5% to 6.6p per share

New management team in place
Strategic Review completed
The disposal of £37 million of non-core properties in the first half, and a further £85 million since the half year
£130 million 10¾% First Mortgage Debenture Stock 2021 purchased
Weighted average cost of borrowing down to 6.6% (31 March 2002: 7.8%)
Adjusted earnings up 6.5% to 6.6p per share (2001: 6.2p)
Interim dividend up 2.7% to 3.42p per share (2001: 3.33p)
Adjusted diluted net assets per share down 12.0% to 307p (31 March 2002: 349p)
Portfolio valuation down 4.8% on a like-for-like basis

Toby Courtauld, Chief Executive, said: 'Since the full year announcement in June, we have begun to address some of the Company’s recent under-performance at the property level. We have completed a strategic review, strengthened our team and sold a substantial part of our non-core holding.'

'Looking forward, we expect rental values in the capital to continue their downward trend during the second half of the financial year, particularly in the City market. We also believe the investment markets are beginning to price risk more realistically than has been the case over the last twelve months, and we are in the enviable position of having significant capacity in the balance sheet to take on new opportunities as we uncover them.'

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(source: Great Portland)

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