P&O decides on $5.85b property sell-off programme

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 May, 1996, 12:00am

Peninsular & Orient Steam Navigation (P&O) has opted for a GBP500 million (about HK$5.85 billion) property sales programme, to be completed by the end of 1998.

However, it has decided against floating its property interests on the London stock market.

The company recognised that its share price took little account of the asset potential in its GBP1.76 billion portfolio, a company spokesman said. The market concentrated on its earnings from shipping.

Property sales already agreed total GBP100 million, including some of the GBP73.5 million portfolio recently bought from Britannic Assurance.

P&O believes its large tracts of land in the Denver, Houston and Atlanta areas in the United States can be traded.

In 1995 pre-tax profits fell from GBP350 million to GBP320 million, of which property contributed 25 per cent.

Consultants Healey & Baker said the worth of P&O's property portfolio declined by 1.2 per cent worldwide and 1.1 per cent in Britain last year.