Braemar stems losses in second half

Hale-based investment fund manager, Braemar Group, expects to report a reduced loss for the second half of the financial year when it announces annual results in June.

The second half performance will still be hit by trading losses from the recently acquired Armchair Property Investor, a property sourcing business. Braemar said in a trading statement today: "Actions taken by the directors in the second half arrested these losses before the year end, but the division will show a loss for the year and there is likely to be a one-off, non-cash write down of the carrying value of the goodwill associated with this acquisition."

The statement added: "The growth in recurring income from fund and property management means that the group enters the new financial year in a much more stable position than at the same time last year."

Two agricultural land funds were producing positive signs, Braemar said, with the unlisted Braemar UK Agricultural Land plc closing its first fund oversubscribed on 31 March 2008. The fund will re-open for a further round of investors to join on the same terms before closing again in July. A second vehicle, a Guernsey-registered, open-ended investment company, will have its first dealing day on 30 May 2008.

The group's three Coronation funds are currently being promoted to high net worth individuals and, Braemar said, "the inflow of funds into these products more than doubles existing Coronation funds under management."

The apartment management business of Main and Main (Developments), acquired in November 2007, is also integrating well, bringing with it an "important counter-cyclical, recurring income stream," from over 2,000 apartments under management.

The company added: "Having already reported a loss in the first half, the directors are pleased that the above achievements are providing a more stable footing for the group and this will be reflected in turnover growth in the year just ended and a reduction in the operating loss for the second half when compared to that of the first half. As fund raising continues the directors expect to report that current trading will have strengthened further at the time of our preliminary results announcement, which is expected to be in early June.

The group's cash balance at 31 March 2008 was £280,000, and has since risen to in excess of £1m after payment of management fees and commissions.

Shares in Braemar were unmoved at 1.625p, valuing the business at £2.66m.

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