29 Aug 2012

GPG posts $70m half year loss

1:42 pm on 29 August 2012

Guinness Peat Group has posted a half year loss after having to cover a heavy fine on its threadmaking Coats business.

The company lost $70 million in the six months to June. In the same period a year ago it made a $25 million profit.

This year's result includes a $148 million charge against Coats for price-fixing in Europe.

GPG is in the process of selling all assets apart from Coats and returning the proceeds to shareholders.

Chairman Rob Campbell says GPG generated $328 million from selling stakes in assets like Turners and Growers, Young's Brewery and Daniel Thwaites, while its Coats business underperformed.

Mr Campbell says GPG has another $40 million in asset sales underway that should be completed by the end of the year, but he expects further sales should return substantially more by then.

GPG has realised $605 million since January last year.

Meanwhile, the company will initially spend about $20 million buying shares as a way of returning capital to shareholders.