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GPG 2010 net profit STG46m

Friday 25th February 2011

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Sir Ron Brierley's investment company Guinness Peat Group reported a full year net profit attributable to members of Stg46 million, a turnaround from the Stg36 million loss the year before, with a major contribution from textile company Coats.

Earlier this month the company published a "strategy to realise value", with the announcement seen as indicating a change in control. An initial capital return to shareholders of at least Stg75m is planned for 2011.

For 2010, GPG reported revenue from continuing operations of Stg1.35 billion, up from a restated Stg1.17 billion a year earlier, while profit before tax from continuing operations rose to Stg73 million from Stg7 million.

Attributable GPG profit from Coats was Stg39 million, compared to a Stg3 million loss in 2009, GPG said today.

Coats' industrial business had a strong sales recovery from a year earlier, while the crafts business had modest sales growth.

The accounts show a loss before tax from continuing operations of Stg12 million for the parent group in the year, while Coats had a profit before tax from continuing operations of Stg69 million.

The GPG result also included a Stg16m contribution to profit from the disposal of GPG's investment in Maryborough Sugar Factory and a trading contribution from Capral of Stg2 million despite the background of poor market conditions in its sector, GPG said.

Good progress was made in disposing of non-core investments in the year and in positioning some investments for disposal in 2011.

Net assets rose by Stg118 million to Stg1.06 billion at December 31, partly as a result of the profit contribution and also partly from foreign exchange gains of Stg58 million recognised in reserves, GPG said.

The capital return is expected to be carried out through a scheme of arrangement, with shareholders receiving a cash payment in return for cancellation of a proportion of their GPG shareholding.

GPG said it intended to send a scheme circular to shareholders ahead of the annual meeting, due to be held in Auckland in June, subject to British court approval.

Shareholder approval would be sought at the time of the AGM, with the aim of completing the capital return by July.



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