By Andrew Starke

ALE Property Group (ALE), Australia’s largest listed freehold pub owner, has announced an increase in earnings and unveiled plans to raise $225 million.

The property trust revealed a 16.3 percent boost to its annual pre-tax earnings and an equity raising strategy that will comprise a $105 million capital raising underwritten by Macquarie Capital Advisors and $120 in asset sales throughout the financial year.

Total revenue for financial year 2009 was $57.4 million, up 7.7 percent on the previous year.

ALE sold five of its properties in June for a combined total of $27.8 million to service its debt and this will continue over the coming financial year.

According to ALE managing director, Andrew Wilkinson, the group will look to replicate the quarter’s sales over each of the next four quarters – to reach the target of $120 million.

ALE’s 100 property portfolio is leased to the Woolworths-controlled Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, with analysts speculating that Woolworths may participate in the trust’s capital raising.

ALE’s share price was $2.61 at 1pm today (Aug 7), up from $2.50 seven days ago.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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