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Widespread narrows first-half loss

Tuesday 30th November 2010

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Resources investor Widespread Portfolio's first-half net loss narrowed to $151,000 as expenses continued to outstrip revenue.

The year-earlier first-half loss was $187,000. Its largest investment, accounting for 48.8% of its $11.7 million portfolio, is a stake in the Chatham Rise rock phosphate project. Widespread estimates the project could produce an annual net profit between $80 million and $100 million although an independent valuation by Rockpoint Corporate Finance estimated its earning potential before tax at $40 million a year.

Widespread says the project "continues to be rapidly and significantly progressed." Widespread and sister company Widespread Energy are considering listing the project on either the ASX or Canada's Toronto Stock Exchange, although no final decision has been made.

Widespread says its outlook remains positive.

"We have enough cash or near cash to sustain operations until 2012 without raising further capital," it said.

"While our key focus remains with advancing the Chatham Rise project, we also have a sound and relatively diverse portfolio and we are well overdue for good news in respect of several of these investments," the company said. "We are confident that one or more of these events will occur during the coming months."

Widespread shares last traded at 16 cents, about the middle of its 10 cent to 20 cent trading range over the past 12 months.

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