Excellent first half performance – continued strategic progress – positive outlook reaffirmed
Tritax Big Box REIT plc (the Group) reports its results for the six months from 1 January to 30 June 2021.
Continued strong income and capital growth
• 23.6% increase in Adjusted EPS to 4.03p (H1 2020: 3.26p) driven by development completions, rental growth, and an increase in development management income. Excluding additional development management income greater than our anticipated run-rate, Adjusted EPS was 3.69p3, an increase of 13.2%.
• 2.4% dividend growth with two interim dividends declared totalling 3.20p, a pay-out ratio of 87% when adjusting for additional development management income3.
• Increase in Total Accounting Return to 12.5% (H1 2020: 4.2%) reflecting successful strategic delivery within a strong market.
• Sustainability strategy driving improving ESG ratings:
- Sustainalytics improved from 14.6 to 9.0 (Negligible Risk), Management Score increased from 32.7 to 56.7 (Strong).
- Inclusion in FTSE4Good, increasing score from 2.3/5 to 3.2/5.
Unprecedented demand for prime logistics space supported by long-term positive structural drivers
• Highest H1 take-up on record of 21 million sq ft with a further 16 million sq ft of space currently under offer, of which 48% is for space >500k sq ft.
• Limited development response relative to demand has led to record low 2% vacancy and strong rental growth across all regions.
• Positive outlook for logistics property has resulted in higher investor allocations into the sector, driving prime yields down further.
Strong growth in portfolio valuation reflecting high quality of assets and customers
• Development gains, asset management and strong market conditions contributed to a portfolio value of £4.89 billion (31 December 2020: £4.41 billion), including a capital valuation surplus of 7.3%, net of capex.
• 100% rent collection achieved for FY 2020, 99.5% of rent due for H1 2021 collected and all arrears expected to be received by the end of the year.
• WAULT of 13.4 years as at 30 June 2021 (31 December 2020: 13.8 years), underpinning long-term security of income, and 0% vacancy rate in the portfolio.
Accelerating levels of development activity delivering income growth at an attractive yield on cost
• Significant development activity, expected to accelerate in H2 2021, with the potential to add a further £19.1 million rent:
- 0.7m sq ft of pre-lets practically completed adding £5.5 million to passing rent.
- 1.0 million sq ft of development assets under offer, with potential to add £8.2 million of rent.
- 0.6 million sq ft of speculative construction started, capable of delivering a further £4.4 million of rent.
- 0.9 million sq ft of further speculative construction expected to start in H2 2021, potentially adding an additional £6.5 million of rent.
• £8.9 million of other operating income delivered through Development Management Agreements (DMA).
- £21.6 million of DMA profit delivered to shareholders since acquisition of Tritax Symmetry.
• 2.4 million sq ft of further planning consent granted in the period – and maintaining 100% planning success to date.
• Near-term evelopment pipeline of 10.4 million sq ft, of which 87.2% had planning consent at 30 June 2021.
• Targeting the delivery of 2-3 million sq ft of new space per year at a 6-8% yield on cosr.
Adding further value through active management
• £8.5 million increase in contracted rent roll, including a £3.8 million contribution from rent reviews across 24.6% of the portfolio, achieving an 8.6% increase in passing rent. Like-for-like ERV growth of 3.8% over the last 12 months, with a 6.5% portfolio rental reversion at the period end.
• Acquired a state-of-the-art, 0.9 million sq ft facility in South West England, for £90 million at an attractive net initial yield of 5.1%, securing long-term income and value creation opportunities.
• Progressing 18 MW of solar PV generation with customers enhancing environmental credentials and returns.
Colin Godfrey, CEO, Tritax Management Ltd, commented:
“We have delivered the strongest first half performance to date with a 12.5% total return. The valuation of our portfolio reflects investment demand for high quality assets. This is supported by attractive rental growth, resulting from an increasingly acute imbalance between significant and increasing demand and highly constrained supply, in a market with clear barriers to entry. With 100% planning consent success so far, and more sites capable of accepting lettings we are well placed to increase development activity in H2 2021 and beyond.”
Aubrey Adams, Chairman of Tritax Big Box REIT plc, commented:
“We are benefitting from implementing a strategy that anticipated long-term and accelerating structural changes, particularly the growth in e-commerce. The strategic decision we took in 2019 to increase our development capabilities is paying off, providing us with a significant opportunity to capture unprecedented levels of demand and deliver attractive total returns to shareholders. This will provide new product to complement our high-quality investment portfolio and together with a strong balance sheet, we are well placed to take advantage of the very favourable market conditions.”
A replay of the results webcast is available at https://www.tritaxbigbox.co.uk/investors/results-centre