back TRADING UPDATE FOR THE PERIOD SINCE 1 APRIL 2018

Helical today releases an update covering its trading activities for the period 1 April 2018 to 11 July 2018 (“the Period”).

Commenting on the Company’s activities, Gerald Kaye, Chief Executive, said:

“Having successfully transformed Helical into a London and Manchester office investment and development company, following the sales of the last remaining non-core regional investment assets during the period, we can focus all our attention on the current development programme, letting the available space and sourcing new projects to continue the growth of the Company.

“The construction works have progressed well at The Bower, due for completion later this month, and the first phase of residential at Barts Square is now due to complete in August. The 214,000 sq ft office building at One Bartholomew is due to complete in October and has just achieved its first pre-let, while the redevelopment of Trinity Court in Manchester is due to finish in December. The final phase of residential at Barts Square (due January 2020) and our new scheme above the Farringdon East Elizabeth Line Station (due November 2019) are both progressing well.

“We have been pleased with the lettings progress achieved at our schemes during the period with 195,822 sq ft of office and restaurant space let for a combined gross annualised rental income of £11.5m (our share £5.0m). In addition, we have now exchanged contracts on the sale of 23 units at the second phase of our residential scheme at Barts Square and a further five units have been reserved, all at an average sales price of £1,819 psf.”

Highlights

Lettings

  • 54,261 sq ft let to The Trade Desk at One Bartholomew, EC1;
  • 29,635 sq ft let at The Tower, Old Street, EC1 to an existing tenant of the first phase for additional expansion space;
  • 31,415 sq ft let at One Creechurch Place, EC3 taking the building to 80% let;
  • 11,968 sq ft let to two restaurant operators at Barts Square, EC1 and The Bower, EC1;
  • 32,454 sq ft of additional lettings in our London portfolio at an aggregate 3.6% premium to 31 March 2018 ERV;
  • 8,869 sq ft of new lettings at our Manchester portfolio at an aggregate 2.6% premium to 31 March 2018 ERV; and
  • 18 month extension to an existing lease on 27,220 sq ft at Churchgate & Lee House, Manchester at passing rent.

Other Portfolio Matters

  • Possession taken of the Farringdon East Elizabeth Line Station site, with our building due for completion in November 2019; and
  • Sales of the last three remaining non-core investment assets at Sevenoaks, Reading and Glasgow for a combined £28.5m, a premium of 6.6% to 31 March 2018 book values.

London Portfolio

The Bower, EC1

The Bower, Old Street EC1 is a 333,200 sq ft development comprising 312,600 sq ft of offices and 20,600 sq ft of restaurant use. Phase 1 of the scheme, comprising 141,150 sq ft of offices at The Warehouse and The Studio and 10,298 sq ft of restaurants, was completed in 2015 and is fully let generating £8.0m of gross rental income. Phase 2, comprising 171,450 sq ft of offices and 10,308 sq ft of restaurant use at The Tower, completes at the end of July 2018.

In Phase 2, we have now pre-let 88,650 sq ft of offices representing 52% of the available space, and 5,554 sq ft of restaurant space, for contracted total gross rental income of £6.1m. These lettings are as follows:

  • Pre-let 59,015 sq ft, covering the first six floors, to WeWork, the flexible shared office provider;
  • Pre-let 29,635 sq ft during the Period, covering floors seven to nine to an existing tenant of the first phase for expansion space; and
  • Pre-let 5,554 sq ft during the Period, to restaurant operator Albion & East, an urban bar which will include its own on-site gin distillery.

The whole scheme is now 74% let or pre-let with growing interest in the remaining 82,800 sq ft of office space, which comprises the top eight floors of The Tower.

Barts Square, EC1

Barts Square, EC1 is a 3.2 acre development project situated between St Paul’s Cathedral and Smithfield Market and a short walk from the Farringdon East Elizabeth Line Station (due to open in December 2018). This scheme will, on completion, provide an entirely new quarter in the City consisting of 236 residential apartments, three office buildings of c. 248,350 sq ft and 21,824 sq ft of retail/restaurant use as well as major public realm improvements.

  • Of the first phase of 144 residential units, we have completed on sales of 92 units and exchanged contracts on a further 42 units for a combined gross sales value of £171.9m at an average of £1,558 psf. Delivery of the final units is due by August 2018;
  • Construction of the second phase of 92 residential units is due to complete in phases Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 and, since its launch in March this year, we have exchanged on 23 units and have a further five units under offer for a combined gross sales value of £45.2m at an average of £1,819 psf;
  • At 90 Bartholomew Close, an office refurbishment of 24,000 sq ft with additional retail/restaurant space, we have let the 6,414 sq ft of ground and lower ground floor space to Wright & Bell for a restaurant and bar; and
  • The construction of One Bartholomew, a new 12 storey office building of c. 214,000 sq ft pre-sold to clients of Ashby Capital LLP, continues with completion due in October 2018. We have pre-let the top three floors of this new development, comprising 54,261 sq ft, to The Trade Desk, the global advertising technology company.

Farringdon East, EC1

We have taken possession of the site above the Farringdon East Elizabeth Line station and are undertaking pre-construction works on this 89,000 sq ft new office building due for completion in November 2019. Construction of the superstructure is due to start in August 2018.

One Creechurch Place, EC3

At One Creechurch Place, EC3, we have let 15,406 sq ft to a Lloyds managing agency, Coverys, and a further floor comprising 16,009 sq ft to Hyperion, taking the total space let to 218,395 sq ft (80% of the building).  

The Loom, E1

At The Loom, we have let 6,400 sq ft to The Fairtrade Foundation and 13,713 sq ft to Hey Habito, which has expanded into newly refurbished space, increasing its occupancy of the building from 7,054 sq ft. These new lettings were at an average rent of £51 psf, a premium of 3.0% to their 31 March 2018 ERVs.

The Shepherds Building, W14

At The Shepherds Building, we have let 11,798 sq ft to three new tenants at an average rent of £49 psf, a premium of 4.2% to their 31 March 2018 ERVs.

Manchester Portfolio

Churchgate & Lee House

Churchgate & Lee House remains fully let. Asset management during the period included an 18 month lease extension with UCI on 27,220 sq ft of space.

35 Dale Street

The offices at 35 Dale Street are now 90% let with one new letting of 3,234 sq ft at £24 psf, a 7.6% premium to 31 March 2018 ERV. A further three leases (11,753 sq ft) have completed during the period which had exchanged prior to 31 March 2018.

31 Booth Street

At 31 Booth Street, the fifth and sixth floors were let to The Appointment Group Ltd for 5,635 sq ft at £25 psf, in line with 31 March 2018 ERV.

Trinity Court

At Trinity Court, works continue to refurbish the building, increasing it from 47,443 sq ft to 59,109 sq ft. Completion of these works is expected in December 2018.

Non-Core

Since the year end we have sold our three remaining non-core investment assets for a total consideration of £28.5m, representing a 6.6% premium to the 31 March 2018 book values and reflecting an aggregate net initial yield of 7.6%. The three assets, at Sevenoaks, Reading and Glasgow, were all acquired between 2003 and 2013.

Financing

At 30 June 2018, the Company’s bank facilities comprised:

  • £474.0m of investment facilities of which £322.4m was drawn down. These borrowings have an average maturity date of three years and six months and a weighted average cost of 4.5%; and
  • A share of a bank facility in joint ventures of £58.0m of which £49.2m was drawn down. This facility has a maturity date of one year and six months and a weighted average cost of 3.6%.

The loan to value (“LTV”) based on values at 31 March 2018, plus capital expenditure during the Period, and including our Convertible Bond was 41.7% (31 March 2018: 39.9%).

Dividend

The final dividend for the year ended 31 March 2018 of 7.00p, if approved by Shareholders, will be paid on 20 July 2018. This will take the total dividend for the year to 9.50p (2017: 8.60p), an increase of 10.5%.

 

For further information, please contact:

Helical plc 

Gerald Kaye (CEO) / Tim Murphy (Finance Director) 

Address: 5 Hanover Square, London W1S 1HQ  Website: www.helical.co.uk  Tel: 020 7629 0113

FTI Consulting

Dido Laurimore/Tom Gough/Richard Gotla

Tel: 020 3727 1000