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Loss-Making Hawtin To Pull Out Of Property Investment

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Never heard of them but another property firm pulling out of, um, property it seems.

AIM-LISTED property investment company Hawtin says it is planning a complete change of direction after announcing continuing heavy losses.

The Cardiff business says it plans to completely pull out of the property investment sector, which has been its core activity for the past eight years.

As part of this new strategy Hawtin is planning to divest itself of its properties, including the Millennium Plaza in Cardiff, which is owned by its Jersey subsidiary Crown Investments.

It is considering an approach to buy the remaining properties from a company in which chief executive Richard Hayward has an interest.

The agent for sale of the Millennium Plaza, CB Ellis, are seeking offers of more than £8m, below the book value of £11m.

The announcement of the new strategy came as the company posted its latest half-yearly results which showed a pre-tax loss of £11.9m for the six months to the end of June.

This follows annual pre-tax losses of £4.5m last year and £17.8m in 2008.

Chairman Bob Carlton-Porter was frank in his statement to shareholders, saying it was “a fact that the company has been struggling since the start of the recession” but adding that his statement was “pragmatic and should be viewed in a strategically positive light”.

He added: “We were unfortunate that we entered the property investment market in 2006 and therefore only had one year of good progress before the funding and property recession hit in 2007.”

Hawtin was founded in 1874 and during its 137 years has been involved in a range of activities including engineering, distribution, manufacturing and property. It joined the London Stock Exchange in 1974.

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business-in-wales/business-news/2010/10/02/loss-making-hawtin-to-pull-out-of-property-investment-91466-27386051/#ixzz11NnlnCUc

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I don't know whether I am the most cynical man on earth - but it looks like the ceo of this company thinks this is the bottom of the market and is selling the properties at a 'discount to book' to himself.

Wander if the shareholders are happy?

AIM - Another Incredible Mugging

(of course, we all know he could well be wrong but I've found over the years that property investment types are optimists.)

Well you must only be the equally most cynical, because that was what I thought as well.

Fleece the shareholders and start afresh. Shouldn't be allowed.

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