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Travel industry news

08 Apr 2019

BY Gary Noakes

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Minoan Group seeks investors after Stewart Travel sale loss

Minoan Group lost £1.62 million on the delayed sale of Stewart Travel last year, meaning it “has no current sources of operating revenue”.

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Minoan Group seeks to raise more cash

Results for the 12 months to October 31 saw Minoan, which has been dogged by delays to a hotel development in Crete, lose £3 million, compared with £2.5 million the previous year.

 

Stewart Travel was sold partly to repay the group’s debts to Zachary Asset Holding in October. Zachary is a company associated with Hillside, Minoan’s principal lender.

 

The £6.6 million price, plus the repayment of inter-company debt of £781,749, reduced Minoan’s debt to Hillside to £942,000. However, “costly delays” and “aborted negotiations” meant a net £1.62 million loss on the sale.

 

In a Stock Exchange statement, Minoan chairman Christopher Egleton admitted: “Following the sale of Stewart Travel, the Group has no current sources of operating revenue with which to meet its working capital requirements.

 

"Accordingly, it has continued to be reliant on equity and debt fundraisings in order to meet its corporate overheads and associated expenses whilst implementing the declared strategy of monetising the Group’s project through the use of Joint Ventures and Partnerships where appropriate.”

 

Minoan raised £525,000 in December with the issue of 21 million new shares and also announced a reduction of liabilities of £408,000 by the issue of 14.8 million new shares in January 2019.

 

The statement added: “The Group’s current cash resources are low and it is managing its working capital position carefully in order to meet its short-term liabilities.

 

"Accordingly, the Group is in advanced discussions with funding partners to provide additional financing and expects to make a further announcement very shortly.”

 

Minoan owns a 6,000-acre plot in Crete but has been prevented from developing it by planning wrangles and a fall in property prices.

 

It adds that an “improvement in prices and market confidence augurs well” and that designers of the planned complex have been appointed.

 

Egleton said: “I and my colleagues believe that 2019 will finally witness the beginning of monetisation of the Group’s interest in the project and hope that the market value of the Group begins to reflect that of its assets as further news of JVs and other transactions materialises.”


Minoan’s shares were priced on Monday at 1.9p, having slipped from 8p a year ago.

 

However, Egleton added: “During the current year it is hoped that the absence of the non-recurring losses the Group experienced in the year to 31 October 2018, together with the continued control of overheads and corporate development costs, the benefit of lower levels of debt and further financing will lead to an improvement in the Group’s performance at the net before taxation level.”

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