back Annual Results for the year to 31 March 2015

Unaudited Preliminary Results for the Year to 31 March 2015

Michael Slade, Chief Executive, commented:
“Our strategy of investing and developing in London whilst maintaining a high yielding regional investment programme continues to bear fruit. We expect our London portfolio to continue to provide significant surpluses over the next few years as rental levels grow and we complete and let our development schemes. In the regions, we have completed our rotation out of secondary shopping centres and into high yielding distribution warehouses, regional offices and out-of-town retail parks. We have seen good demand from occupiers for the assets in our portfolio and strong interest in those types of assets from institutions. This is leading to a rise in both rental and capital values as the UK economy strengthens outside London.

With the General Election behind us we can look forward with confidence to a more stable domestic political situation, which should help the UK economy to grow, and we anticipate providing shareholders with continued strong growth in the value of our business.”

Financial Highlights

Another excellent financial performance

  • EPRA net asset value per share up 23% to 385p (2014: 313p).
  • Profit before tax of £87.4m (2014: £101.7m).
  • Total Property Return up 11% to £155.3m (2014: £140.1m).
    • Group’s share of net rental income up 30% to £38.6m (2014: £29.8m).
    • Development profits of £17.6m (2014: £65.0m).
    • Trading profits of £2.5m (2014: £0.3m).
    • Net gain on sale and revaluation of investment properties of £96.6m (2014: £45.0m).
  • Final dividend proposed of 5.15p (2014: 4.75p) per share, increasing the total dividend by 7.4% to 7.25p (2014: 6.75p).

Growing capital returns

  • Group’s share of property portfolio £1,021m (2014: £802m).
  • Unleveraged return of property portfolio as measured by IPD of 20.4% (2014: 23.8%) compared to 17.5% (2014: 13.4%) for the benchmark index.
  • Investment property valuations, on a like-for-like basis, up 24.7% (11.7% including sales and purchases) with London office valuations up 34.8% (27.0% including sales and purchases).

Strong financial position

  • See-through loan to value of 34% (2014: 36%) on a secured basis and 52% overall (2014: 46%).
  • Average maturity of the Group’s share of debt of 4.3 years (2014: 3.9 years) at an average cost of 4.1% (2014: 4.5%).
  • £100m Convertible Bond issued in June 2014 provided firepower to grow the portfolio.
  • Group’s share of cash and undrawn bank facilities at 31 March 2015 of £229m (2014: £186m).

Operational Highlights

London portfolio providing engine of growth with much more to come

  • 27.0% valuation increase of London investment portfolio (2014: 18.6%), now valued at £370m (47% of total investment portfolio).
  • Assignment of our purchase contract on 99 Clifton Street, London EC2 generates £16.4m profit.
  • Gross rents on London portfolio of £9.3m compared to ERV of £28.1m.
  • Significant rental growth seen at Shepherd’s Building, Hammersmith and in the ‘Creative Halo’.
  • At The Bower, Old Street, London EC1, The Studio and Empire House are fully let with 45% of offices in The Warehouse let or under offer.
  • At Barts Square, London EC1, 64 residential units exchanged on phase 1 out of 92 released.
  • 23-28 Charterhouse Square, London EC1 acquired for refurbishment to comprise 38,600 sq ft of offices and 5,350 sq ft of retail/restaurant use, to be completed in early 2017.
  • 271,000 sq ft of offices at Creechurch Place, London EC3 under construction.
  • Contracts exchanged on the sale of Artillery Lane, E1 for £15.1m.
  • The current office development programme comprises c. 1.24m sq ft. Of this c. 365,000 sq ft is pre-let or pre-sold.

Regional portfolio switch completed with further purchases to come

  • Gross rents on regional investment portfolio of £27.3m, a yield of 6.5% on £420m (53% of total investment portfolio).
  • Regional investment portfolio successfully switched from secondary shopping centres to high yielding distribution warehouses, regional offices and retail parks.
  • 12.2% valuation increase on regional offices dominated by performance of Churchgate and Lee House in Manchester.
  • Regional investment portfolio now comprises 25% offices, 14% in town retail, 24% retail parks, 35% industrial/logistics and 2% other.
  • Trading profits of £2.5m (2014: £0.3m) made on the sale of £34m of regional assets.

For further information, please contact:

Helical Bar plc
Michael Slade (Chief Executive)
Tim Murphy (Finance Director)
020 7629 0113
Address: 5 Hanover Square, London W1S 1HQ
FTI Consulting
Dido Laurimore/Tom Gough/Clare Glynn
020 3727 1000

Annual Results for the year to 31 March 2015 (in pdf format).