Harts share price nosedives

Consolidator Harts Australia has suffered a 30 per cent drop in their share price, after the company announced it lost $9.4 million last year.

The Harts share price plummeted 15 cents to 40 cents from its opening price of 55 cents, following a further 15 cent drop yesterday from their Tuesday closing price of 70 cents.

The present share price is less than one third of its value at its peak price of $1.55 since the floating of the company in May last year.

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Today's share price plunge followed an announcement from the company which revealed that it expected a loss of $9.7 million before tax for the year ending December 31, 2000. The company had estimated that its first year profit would be 12.4 million in its prospectus.

Harts executive deputy chairman Steve Hart cited the poor performance of the property division of the group because of the impact of the GST, as well as the depressed sales market and a general downturn in the property industry as factors contributing to the losses.

Also announced by the company today was the restructuring of the management team. Ric Hayter departed as managing director a fortnight ago. Hayter will be replaced by Dennis Maddern.

Maddern is no stranger to consolidator accounting firms. Last year he had a one month stint with Stockford, and according to a report in BRW, worked with an un-named consolidator group in September before quitting on October 30 due to differences with the backer of the group.

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