Demetra Investment, the primarily Cyprus-invested public company with a portfolio in equities and real estate, saw a significant turnaround last year, despite the gloomy situation in the market following the write-down of local bank stocks and the Eurogroup-imposed bailout plan.
Demetra announced that profits attributable to shareholders rocketed to EUR 8.4 mln from a loss of 3.4 mln in 2012, mainly due to the performance of many of its portfolio stocks, including a 15% stake it acquired in Hellenic Bank last year at a cost of EUR 20 mln.
After the write-down of its Bank of Cyprus shares by 99% and the write-off of its holdings in Laiki Bank, that has since been closed down, the fund’s revenue from dividends were drastically reduced by nearly two thirds to EUR 208,000.
Demetra’s net asset value as at the end of December 2013 was 76.47c, with a profit per share of 4.19c. However, the fund is not expected to announce any dividend for the time being, but market analysts are confident that Demetra will enjoy a further improvement in its portfolio as the Cyprus Stock Exchange starts to pick up and other investments, such as a 20% stake in two desalination units, begin output.
The poor levels of rainfall throughout winter has led to water levels at the island’s dams dropping to about 51% of capacity, compared to 88% this time last year. This means that the local water boards will be obliged to buy more water from the Larnaca and Limassol desalination plants in order to meet consumer and agricultural demand.
Demetra also has a handful of properties it manages, a sector that saw EUR 4.8 mln losses, despite steady revenue streams from some tenants. It also has a 10% stake in the Elea Golf Estate.
The fund’s main shareholder is the Cooperative group, which has been nationalised after a 1.5 bln euro bailout and in the process of being restructured. The Coop holds close to a 20% stake, with Logicom a further 6%, smaller stakes by strategic investors and the rest is in the hands of some 150,000 shareholders.
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