LONDON (Alliance News) - Property investment group Safeland PLC Tuesday said it was able to make its first distribution to shareholders in over a decade, due to the demerger of its Safestay joint venture, despite a fall in profit for the full year.
The company said the period was one of significant progress, enabling the group to make a distribution to its shareholders from a capital restructuring of reserves announced on March 13 and the subsequent demerger of the Safestay joint venture on May 2.
Safestay was set up in April 2011 as a joint venture between the Moorfield Funds and Safeland to operate "boutique" hostels.
The demerger enabled Safeland to distribute the shares it received from Safestay PLC as a dividend, equivalent to 10.73 pence per Safeland share. Safeland, however, won't pay a final cash dividend.
Safeland, which focuses on Greater London, posted pretax profit of GBP903,000 for the year ended March 31, down from GBP1.0 million a year earlier.
In the previous year, Safeland benefited from exceptional profit from "misappropriation of funds". Safeland has been slowly recovering GBP1.7 million that was stolen from the business. The company uncovered the losses in October 2012 when it discovered a series of fraudulent transactions which led to the company restating its 2012 accounts.
Revenue rose to GBP10.4 million from GBP8.6 million.
Safeland said its net asset value per share rose 11% to 63 pence from 57 pence a year earlier. Total shareholder return was 86.7% compared with 6.1% a year earlier.
At an operating level, the company said it made significant progress. Most notably, the London Borough of Barnet passed a resolution to grant planning permission for the development of housing at Chandos Tennis Club in Golders Green.
Looking ahead, Safeland said it is now poised to complete a number of developments which should ensure that the near term outlook for shareholder returns is at its "strongest for some considerable time."
Safeland shares were quoted up 15% at 47.00 pence Tuesday morning.