News Column

Conygar Investment Co Swings To Interim Profit On Property Gains

May 21, 2014

Samuel Agini

LONDON (Alliance News) - The Conygar Investment Co PLC Wednesday said it swung to a half-year pretax profit due to gains on revaluations of its investment properties.

In a statement, Conygar said it made a GBP7.5 million pretax profit in the six months ended March 31, compared with a GBP199,000 pretax loss in the corresponding period a year earlier. Net property income fell to GBP5.7 million from GBP6.6 million, due to asset sales. Administrative expenses were broadly flat at GBP1.3 million, made up of salary payments and costs of being quoted on AIM.

A GBP568,000 gain was made on the sale of two investment properties - at Brunswick Point, Leeds and Blackpole Trading Estate, Worcester - with no such gain or loss reported a year earlier.

Conygar also reported a GBP4.8 million gain due to revaluations of its investment portfolios, compared with a GBP3.5 million loss for the corresponding period last year. Conygar's investment properties were independently valued by Jones Lang LaSalle at the end of March.

"In their opinion, the open market value of the investment property portfolio was GBP161.2 million. The total portfolio decreased in value by GBP3.6 million during the period due to two disposals, but the underlying portfolio increased in value on a like-for-like basis by 3.3%," Conygar said in a statement.

Conygar said its contracted annual rent roll fell by GBP1.1 million to GBP13.3 million over the six-month period, mainly owing to the property sales.

"We continue to work hard at letting vacant space, retaining tenants and pushing down irrecoverable property costs, and so the cash yield on the portfolio remains strong. The portfolio vacancy rate remains at 17.8%. We made no acquisitions in the period," Conygar said.

"We are also looking at various refurbishment and redevelopment opportunities at several of our investment properties. In particular, we have submitted a planning application for a proposed redevelopment of the Ashby Gateway site at Ashby Park, Ashby de la Zouch, which would potentially incorporate a food store operator," Conygar said.

During the period, Conygar's net asset value per share, the value of its assets after subtracting liabilities, divided by the number of its shares in issue, increased to 180.8 pence on March 31 from 174.6 pence on September 30, 2013.

"The economic outlook continues to improve, and this is reflected in both the investment portfolio valuation and the increased rate of progress on the development projects. If the current improvement in the economy continues, Conygar is well positioned to deliver on the potential which exists within both our investment property portfolio and the development opportunities," Robert Ware, chief executive, said in a statement.

"We continue to grow net asset value per share and we believe that our carefully managed development projects have the potential to deliver further significant growth over the next few years. However, we remain disciplined in our approach to risk management, an approach that has served us well over the period of the downturn and is a cornerstone of our strategy," Ware added.

Conygar Investment Co shares were Wednesday quoted at 177.75 pence, up 0.4%.

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Source: Alliance News

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