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Shore Capital reports operating loss of GBP1.6m for 2008

Shore Capital says its asset management and equity capital markets businesses were profitable in 2008, but that this was offset by a reduction in the carrying value of balance sheet hol

Shore Capital says its asset management and equity capital markets businesses were profitable in 2008, but that this was offset by a reduction in the carrying value of balance sheet holdings and losses in Shore Capital Trading.

Revenue for the year was GBP19.7m, down from GBP38.8m in 2007. This decrease reflects a loss on balance sheet activities of GBP7.2m compared with a profit of GBP1.6m in 2007.

Shore Capital says the loss principally arose from Puma Hotels, Puma Brandenburg and St Peter Port.

The combined revenue from operating businesses, primarily equity capital markets and asset management, was GBP26.9m – down from GBP37.2m in 2007. The group made an operating loss of GBP1.6m compared with an operating profit of GBP13.8m in 2007.

Shore Capital says its alternative asset class fund management business performed relatively well in an environment of turmoil in which the main aim had to be trying to avoid losing money rather than focusing on ways of making a return at considerable risk.

The principal change during the year in the division was that it took over 100 per cent of the portfolio management of Puma Hotels.

During 2008 the company successfully realised five pre-IPO investments in full and some others in part, receiving GBP21m in cash and generating a gain on investment of 51 per cent.

Funds under management as at 31 December 2008 were GBP1.53bn, compared to GBP1.51bn at 31 December 2007.

Howard Shore, Chairman of Shore Capital Group, says: ‘As a house, we see ourselves as well-placed to exploit opportunities arising from the current bear market. We believe we have been winning an increasing share of a declining cake. When the business environment stabilises we are well placed to resume our growth. At the same time, unique value opportunities should present themselves which we hope to take advantage of.’

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