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Packer’s private firm CPH posts $22 mil loss for year

SYDNEY — Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH), the private company of Aussie media mogul Kerry Packer, reported a loss of A$27.7 million ($22.6 million) for the year ended June 30, according to documents filed Tuesday with the Australian Securities Commission.

Operating revenue fell by more than half to $198 million for the company, whose earnings seem erratic. A loss of $120.6 million was followed by a profit of $82.3 million in 1995, partly bolstered by sales of investments.

CPH recorded a zero tax liability for the year, but said “it strongly disputes the findings of its tax audit and has lodged appeals” against audits said to cover years 1989-93, which it will “vigorously prosecute” in court next year.

Despite $49 million in foreign exchange losses, Packer continued to flirt with foreign currency investments with just under $408 million tied up in Irish Punts.

CPH, which forked out dividends of $43 million, up from $31 million last year, is just one of Packer’s private companies which does not supply figures or analysis of its result to the press. Packer’s real fortune is reportedly stashed in a Bahamas-based company.

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