THE listed Melbourne investment company Djerriwarrh Investments has fallen victim to last year's market decline, with net losses on its trading portfolio dragging down first-half profit by 9.5 per cent.
The long-term, large capitalisation investor yesterday reported an interim net profit of $23.1 million for the six months to December 31, which was down from $25.6 million a year earlier.
Shareholders will pocket an interim dividend of 10? a share, fully franked, unchanged from a year ago.
Djerriwarrh blamed a slump in the local equity market, which has wiped 12 per cent off the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 since July last year, and drove a 7.9 per cent loss on its $714.6 million investment portfolio.
But dividends and distributions from investments increased slightly during the period, leaving finance and tax costs, and $2.2 million in net losses on its trading portfolio, the key drivers of a 18.2 per cent fall in net operating profit.
Trading portfolio losses cut 17.2 per cent off first-half net operating profit for Djerriwarrh's sister investor, Mirrabooka Investments Ltd, which last week reported a 9.5 per cent fall to $6.9 million.
"From a longer-term perspective, we think conditions are likely
to remain tough for a period of time," the general manager, Geoff Driver, said.
"The factors external to Australia are really impacting it a lot."
Djerriwarrh's investment portfolio is dominated by big names in the top ASX 50 stocks. Its biggest holding remained BHP Billiton at December 31, with shares worth $81.5 million compared with $100.5 million six months earlier.
Djerriwarrh's shares closed up 3? at $3.73.