By Ian Neubauer

Hedley Leisure and Gaming Property Fund (HLG) has reported an after-tax profit of $10.06 million for the 2007-08 fiscal year.

The result came in 33 per cent below the forecasted profit of $15.2 million as a result of a reduction in dividends following the sale of $57 million worth of shares in the ALE Property Group. It was also affected by rising interest rates, which cost the company an additional $1.5 million in the period.

HLG acquired nine new properties worth $25.6 million in the last 12 months and sold the Mount Isa Hotel in July last year for $2 million. Its portfolio of 109 pubs and bottle shops was devalued by $64.2 million over the period and is currently valued at just over $1 billion.

HLG reduced its debt during the period from $799 million to $754 million through the sale of ALE shares and will continue to review options to further reduce its debt.

HLG shares were trading at 51 cents on the Australian Stock Exchange as trading commenced today (August 29).

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The Shout Team

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

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