Mowbray Collectables has reported a $61,000 operating profit in what it describes as extremely challenging business conditions. The company is not paying a dividend until it has some clarity about one of its investments in Australia. The profit in the year to March 31 compare with a loss of $320,000 last year. The tax-paid loss is $39,000, compared with a $229,000 loss last year.

"The restructuring of the Australian activities, although costly, has been positive overall," the company said.

It has previously expressed concern about the carrying value of its 20 per cent stake in Australian auction holding company First East Auction Holdings but yesterday said asset sales planned by First East may give it more comfort.