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First Property posts 30% profit plunge

First Property shares (LON: FPO) were down over 5% on Thursday as the group reported a 30.2% drop in pre-tax profits.

For the six months to 30 September 2020, the group reported a fall in profits from £3.0m to £2.1m.

The group reduced net debt from £57.19m in March to £19.83 and also increased net cash reserves to £21.21m.

Commenting on the results, Ben Habib, Chief Executive of First Property Group, said: “The sale of Cha ubińskiego 8 (CH8) in April released some GBP17 million in cash and put the Group in a strong position from which to navigate the economic fallout of the COVID pandemic.

“As a consequence of the sale there has been a reduction in rental income, which is the primary reason for the reduction in earnings reported today.

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“This reduction should be temporary and last only until we reinvest the cash. We expect to do so in association with clients of the Group. Our aim is to invest some 10-20% of the equity required in any acquisition which, when coupled with bank debt, should enable us to acquire up to some GBP300 million in property.

“There is a great deal of flux in the market at the moment and we expect interesting opportunities to emerge next year,” he added.

First Property shares (LON: FPO) are trading 5.97% down to 36,20 (1611GMT). In the year-to-date, shares have fallen from highs of 49,00.