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“Covid-19 created a challenging backdrop, but our Company has performed well during the first half of the year delivering high levels of rent collection, stable earnings and an increase in portfolio value and rents driven by effective asset management and development activity. Significant strategic progress has also been made during the period, particularly within our development pipeline including securing a pre-let with Amazon on Europe’s largest logistics facility in addition to a number of lettings in the Symmetry portfolio.
“While our performance during the first half of the year provides reassurance, with the UK experiencing the sharpest reduction in GDP since the 1970s we believe it is appropriate to continue to maintain a cautious approach in the long-term interest of shareholders. In the face of the crisis, we took a number of decisive short-term actions to preserve the financial strength of the Company, including a modest reduction to our quarterly dividend. The long-term impacts of Covid-19 are only just beginning to be felt and we believe it is right to ensure the business has the financial headroom to ride-out a potentially protracted period of economic weakness.
“With high-quality assets, a strong balance sheet and gathering momentum in our development pipeline we believe the Company is well placed to take advantage of the strength of the UK logistics real estate market. As a Board, we will continue to monitor closely the likely long-term impact from Covid-19, with a view to potentially increasing the dividend on a progressive basis over time when we believe there is a sufficient level of economic visibility, financial headroom, and it is in our shareholders’ interest.”
Sir Richard Jewson Chairman
An on-demand recording of the webcast presentation from Thursday, 6 August 2020, is available below.
|30 June 2020||30 June 2019||% change|
|Operating profit (1)||£70.6m||£56.6m||+24.7%|
|Adjusted earnings per share (2)||3.26p||3.41p||-4.4%|
|Dividend per share||3.125p||3.425p||-8.8%|
|Dividend pay-out ratio||96%||100%||-4.0pts|
|Total accounting return for the six months||4.2%||0.4%||+3.8pts|
|EPRA cost ratio||14.1%||15.3%||-1.2pts|
|30 June 2020||31 December 2019||% change|
|EPRA net tangible assets per share (3)||154.85p||151.79p||+2.0%|
|Portfolio value (4)||£4.18bn||£3.94bn||+6.1%|
|Contracted annual rent roll||£178.9m||£166.6m||+7.4%|
|Weighted average unexpired lease term (WAULT)||14.1yrs||14.1yrs||n/a|
|Loan to value (LTV)||31.8%||30.4%||+1.4pts|
1. Operating profit before changes in fair value of Investment properties and contingent consideration, gain on bargain purchase, impairment of intangible and other property assets and share-based payment charges.
2. See Note 6 to the financial statements for reconciliation.
3. Following the October 2019 update to EPRA’s Best Practice Recommendations Guidelines, the Group has adopted EPRA net tangible assets (NTA) as its primary measure of net asset value and restates its December 2019 position in line with this change. A reconciliation of this change is provided within the Notes to EPRA NAV calculations.
4. The Group’s Investment portfolio comprises let or pre-let assets as well as any speculative developments that have reached practical completion but remain vacant (inclusive of all forward funded development commitments).
For the full archive of current and past Annual and Interim Reports and Company documents see Company Documents.