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Gunns hit by write-downs

THE embattled timber company Gunns Limited has slumped to a loss of $355.5 million following heavy write-downs.

THE embattled timber company Gunns Limited has slumped to a loss of $355.5 million following heavy write-downs.

The annual net loss compares with a 2010 profit of $28.5 million and reflects a business in transition, managing director Greg L'Estrange said.

In a review of asset values, Gunns has taken impairment charges of $218.1 million against Auspine, a 19 per cent reduction in the value of its Tasmanian forest assets to $406 million, and $77 million in provisions against managed investment scheme-related assets.

A strategic restructure has seen Gunns exit native forests and sell a series of assets in a shift to a plantation-based business, eventually feeding the planned $2.3 billion Tamar pulp mill.

The company's shares remain in a trading halt - now in its third week - at 20.5? as it negotiates a settlement with the Tasmanian government for exiting contracts from public native forests.


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