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St Laurence Property & Finance loses NZ$87 mln; will exit financing market

St Laurence Property & Finance loses NZ$87 mln; will exit financing market
St Laurence Property and Finance (SLPF), which is 34% owned by troubled finance company St Laurence Limited, announced a net loss after tax of NZ$87.2 million for the 12 months to March 31. SLPF also said it would seek to exit the property financing market following a review of its assets and objectives. The loss compared to a NZ$28.5 million profit for the year to March 31, 2008, and was attributed mainly to a NZ$52.6 million drop in the value of SLPF's property portfolio. SLPF also announced loan provisioning and write-offs of NZ$17.3 million, as well as readjustments of NZ$3.6 million on investments in associates. "The extremely difficult economic climate is continuing to adversely effect underlying property values," Executive Chairman Kevin Podmore said. "The decline has continued into the second half of the financial year and this, combined with further deterioration in the property development sector, has had a significant impact on the Company's financial results," Podmore said. SLPF said that the passing rental yield from its portfolio had fallen over the year to 7.03%, down from 7.12% at March 31, 2008. Outstanding bank debt was NZ$145 million, or 39% of assets, at the end of March. SLPF is currently trying to sell this property, which is under conditional contract at a sale price of NZ$25.5 million, in Mt. Wellington to a syndicate group managed by Augusta Funds Management. For more see this piece on property syndication, as well as a piece by Brian Gaynor here.

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