PRAGUE-Listed Czech developer and investor ECM Real Estate saw its nine-month net loss widen to €28.1 million from €22.2 million, slightly higher than analysts’ forecasts of around €26 million.

The net operating loss also rose to €5.7 million from €4.3 million a year earlier, but swung into a profit of €2.4 million in the third quarter. Nine-month net rental and related income grew 41% to €11.7 million, mainly on increased occupancy of its City Tower office building, the Czech Republic’s tallest building.

City Tower is part of ECM’s City multifunctional office and residential project in Pankrác, Prague 4. ECM also sold 65% of stage 1 of its Unhost Terraces residential development near Prague, completed construction of two Chinese projects and progressed its €100 million-plus Russian shopping mall in Ryazan, 180 km from Moscow.

Total equity shrank by 29.4% from end-2008 to €67.3 million. Total assets were down 22.7% at €524.3 million, reflecting the change from full to equity consolidation of its Chinese projects ECMall and office building Metropolis Tower – scheduled to open in Q1 2010 – after it sold a 23% stake to its local JV partner early this year, cutting its own stake to 37%. ECM didn’t revalue its investment portfolio, but it reported a valuation loss of €1.7 million on exchange rate fluctuations. Administrative costs were cut by 25%, with some effects from cost-cutting measures yet to work through.

Allan Saunderson is a managing editor of Property Finance Europe and a contributor to

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