News Column

St Modwen Properties Half-Year Profit Up As Confidence Returns

July 1, 2014

Anthony Tshibangu

LONDON (Alliance News) - St Modwen Properties PLC Tuesday reported an increase in profit and revenue for the first half, underpinned by recovery in the UK property market.

The company, which specialises in regenerating brownfield land across the UK, posted pretax profit of GBP61.0 million for the six months ended May 31, up from GB45.6 million a year earlier. Profit was boosted by a GBP27.7 million valuation gain on investment properties compared with a GBP16.7 million gain a year earlier.

Revenue, meanwhile, rose to GBP110.1 million from GBP63.8 million a year earlier.

Birmingham-based St Modwen said the property market is beginning to pick up outside of London and the South East and confidence has returned. As a result, its housebuilding arm has gone from strength to strength with high interest and visitor levels leading to 121 completions during the period compared with 19 a year earlier.

It said St Modwen Homes has eight sites under construction, of which five have been launched to the market for sale. An additional five sites have planning and will commence production for 2015.

St Modwen said its joint venture with housebuilder Persimmon PLC is in full flow with all eight sites under their agreement performing well and 231 completions of homes up from 53 a year earlier.

At an operating level, St Modwen said its four major projects which include the development of Swansea University'sGBP450 millionBay Campus and the GBP1 billion regeneration of Longbridge Birmingham are progressing well.

In addition, the company submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of the New Covent Garden Market site in Nine Elms, London.

"We are now working with the local authority and our other partners towards securing permission for the development of this landmark, multi-phased project, and subject to planning, we anticipate starting on site in the first half of 2015," St Modwen said.

At the period-end the company said its net assets stood at GBP650 million or 294.2 pence per share, compared with GBP614 million and 278.8 pence per share in November.

Looking, ahead St Modwen said it is encouraged to see renewed demand from occupiers and investors in the regional markets throughout the UK.

"Combined with an improving residential market, we expect this to lead to a sustained ability to generate future improvement in the net asset value of the group and deliver good returns for the business and our shareholders alike," it said.

On the back of its performance the company increases its interim dividend 10% to 1.463 pence from 1.33 pence.

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Source: Alliance News

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