DEEPLY troubled clothing group Charterhall has crashed to a #26.5m

loss, and revealed multi-million disasters on investment activity,

headed by the foray into A. Goldberg, for the half-year to December.

A further #47.4m has been written-off to cover the drop in value of

subsidiaries. And the company admits its assets are now worth less than

half its issued share capital of #26m.

However the firm has won a reprieve from receivership. State Bank of

New South Wales has agreed to extend facilities on borrowings of around

#75m subject to approval at an EGM on June 13.

Dealings in Charterhall have been suspended since December. Parent

company Westmex, holding 60%, went into receivership in February with

debts estimated at A$300m.

Charterhall has been without a chairman since Russell Goward resigned

in March and finance director John Bromley was refusing to answer

questions about the company's future.

A press spokesman said the announcement of results had been held back

while the finance package was discussed. The company is hopeful about

being able to have another chairman in place for the EGM.

At the interim stage operating losses of #4.3m were extended by #16.4m

worth of exceptional costs to cover actual and anticipated losses on the

disposal of non-core investments.

The lion's share, #13.3m, was down to UK investments. An initial 29.9%

stake in Glasgow stores group, A. Goldberg, was pared down to 10% for a

book loss of at least #4.4m. The remainder of the holding has been up

for sale for two months but there appears to be no prospect of

attracting a buyer. The sale of North American petroleum interest,

Aviva, incurred a #4m loss.

On the trading front pre-tax profits of #6.6m last time evaporated.

The company lost #2m on footwear retailing in the face of a downturn in

the market. And in a period which saw difficulties with the integration

of the Corah business, clothing interests lost #458,000. Turnover,

boosted by #32m from acquisitions, advanced from #39m to #87.5m.

Under the re-financing proposals State Bank is asking shareholders to

grant subscription warrants in respect to 5% of the Tandem Shoes and

Corah subsidiaries. The feeling in the City is that Charterhall's

performance turned out to be far worse than expected, and the company is

seen as trying to air all the bad news in one go. The group does not

expect trading in its shares, frozen at 9.5p, to begin until at least

after the egm, but an interim dividend of 1.1p, up from 1p, is being

paid on a loss per share of 5.12p.