By Andrew Starke
The ALE Property Group has reported a net profit of $10.25 million in the six months to December 31 compared with a net loss of $48.93 million for the first half of last year.
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), the company valued its property assets at $772.4 million, down from $804.8 million in June last year, while the number of properties in the trust have fallen from 100 to 93 in this period.
The group is the first listed property trust to buy back debt, placing it in the company of groups like Macquarie Group and Fairfax Media which have embarked on similar strategies.
“ALE’s capital management position has been made materially stronger over the six months to December 2009,” said ALE Property Group MD, Andrew Wilkinson.
“A capital raising, a series of property sales and debt buybacks have all contributed to a strong balance sheet.”
ALE has put a further seven hotels in Queensland and Victoria up for auction in its latest, and possibly last, tranche of sales.
Wilkinson said the group was involved in ongoing negotiations with its existing banks and advisers with a view to extending debt maturities well in advance of may and September 2011.