A sharp decline in exceptional losses and improved operating performance have wiped much of the red ink off troubled Chesterfield. The investment and property company, plagued by losses during the past six years, said net loss declined to HK$65.92 million in the year to March 31, from $173.93 million a year earlier. Exceptional losses plummeted to $54.36 million from $157.83 million. Operating losses fell to $9.47 million from $27.39 million. The results boosted the company's shares by 16.55 per cent to 17.6 cents and made it the second most heavily traded stock yesterday. A total of 49.45 million shares changed hands. The exceptional losses covered a $2.6 million loss from deconsolidation of subsidiaries, a $3.06 million write-off and a $1.34 million provision for a non-recoverable loan. About $1.8 million had been deducted from the release of exchange reserves on the deconsolidation. Chesterfield made a $1.45 million provision for the non-recoverable amount from MKI Corp, its former associated company, against $12.33 million previously. It also made $54.08 million in provisions for various investment properties in Hong Kong and Malaysia. These were made before a write-back of $3.78 million of the properties under development. The directors recommended no final dividend, as in the previous year. Losses per share went down to 5.1 cents from 16.2 cents. Turnover climbed 29.5 per cent to $94.14 million from $72.71 million, adjusted from the initial $73.15 million which the company said would 'better reflect the performance of the operations'. It said the restated turnover reflected the net profit, instead of the gross proceeds, from the sales of marketable securities. Losses from discontinued operations fell sharply to $1.7 million from $10.88 million after the company scrapped the profit guarantee of a wholly owned subsidiary which ceased operations in 1994.