Half-yearly financial results for the six months to 30 September 2009
“We enter the recovery phase of the cycle with a strong balance sheet and good access to finance. We have the capacity and the confidence in our expertise to invest in the right acquisitions and new developments to create out-performance.”
|30 September 2009||31 March 2009||Change|
|Valuation deficit (1)||£(117.8)m||N/A||Down 1.4%|
|Basic NAV per share||622p||639p||Down 2.7%|
|Adjusted diluted NAV per share (2)||565p||593p||Down 4.7%|
|Adjusted Gearing (1)||102.0%||105.9%||N/A|
|Six months ended 30 September 2009||Six months ended 30 September 2008||Change|
|Loss before tax (3)||£(4.6)m||£(1,621.2)m||Up 99.7%|
|Revenue profit (3)||£128.4m||£151.8m||Down 15.4%|
|Basic EPS (3)(4)||1.58p||(314.39)p||N/A|
|Adjusted diluted EPS (3)(4)||16.89p||29.51p||Down 42.8%|
|Dividend (4)||14.00p||29.80p||Down 53.0%|
- High level of lettings secured across portfolio
The Group has adopted a flexible approach to lettings to secure income, but not to the detriment of the quality of key assets. This has been effective with £29.9m of income secured across the portfolio in the first half. Highlights have included the successful letting at Thomas More Square, London E1, to News International, which is the largest letting of second-hand space in London since 2003.
- Balance sheet well positioned
A focus on asset sales and treasury management has preserved an AA credit rating and leaves the Group well placed with the financial capacity to take advantage of new investment and development opportunities as the market cycle turns. With a Group LTV of 50.8%, the business has the flexibility to make investment acquisitions, but also the current market exposure to allow it to be patient and wait for the right opportunities.
- Business positioned in short term to exploit medium-term opportunities
With a belief that West End offices will deliver strong rental growth in the recovery phase, construction tender returns have been sought on 60,000 sq m of office, retail and residential development opportunities in the West End. The schemes at Park House, W1, Selborne House, SW1, and Wellington House, SW1, can be started in 2010 for delivery into improving occupier markets in 2012 and 2013.
- Well placed for longer-term opportunities
The Group is confident in its ability to deliver long-term outperformance as it shapes itself for the next five years. There will be a focus on exploiting its competitive cost of finance and aligning its strong development capability with a liquid portfolio to allow capital rotation. The strength and appeal of its portfolio and its expertise in both offices and retail will continue to offer organic opportunities for growth as well as new business opportunities.
Commenting, Chief Executive Francis Salway said:
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