back Half Year Results for the six months to 30 September 2009

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary with a resilient performance

Financial Highlights:

  • Profit before property writedowns, loss on sale of investment properties, investment gains and tax for the half year of £1.8m (2008: £23.9m).
  • Diluted EPRA net assets per share of 271p (31 March 2009: 286p).
  • Investment portfolio showed a revaluation surplus of £0.1m at the half year.
  • Net rental income increased to £8.5m (2008 £8.2m)
  • Diluted EPRA loss per share of 5.2p (2008: earnings of 8.5p)

Prudent cash and debt management

  • Reduction in net gearing to 83% (31 March 2009: 95%) with the repayment of £63.0m of debt during the period.
  • Cash and unused bank facilities of over £60m ensure the Company is well positioned to capitalise on market opportunities.
  • Reduced administration costs to £4.0m (2008: £5.7m)
  • Interim dividend maintained at 1.75p per share (2008: 1.75p)

Operational Highlights:

Active portfolio management to maximise income and preserve and enhance capital value growth potential:

  • Disposals programme, with over £103m of sales completed or under offer in the year to date
  • Successful lettings programme, with over 60 new or renewed leases increasing net annualised income, after lease expiries, by £1,278,000.

Building a substantial platform for future surpluses, with timing of delivery dependent on market recovery and the securing of appropriate funding structures:

  • 1.2m sq ft portfolio of out of town retail development assets in Poland
  • Over 1m sq ft of development opportunities in Central London
  • Engaged in the promotion of up to 5,000 residential units in London in existing joint venture partnerships and consortia.
  • 750 retirement units with planning consent, with over 200 units already built or under construction.

Commenting on the results, Giles Weaver, Chairman, said:

"Since reporting our full year results to shareholders in June 2009, Helical has seen an improvement in the investment market. This is reflected in the valuation of our investment portfolio, externally valued at the half year end for the first time in line with industry practice, where a small surplus in value of £0.1m was achieved. It is to be hoped that this signals a sustained recovery in capital values, although the impact of a continued decline in rental values cannot be discounted.

"The Company already owns an investment portfolio and a development pipeline that should enable it to increase shareholder value substantially in the future. Furthermore, there exist a number of interesting opportunities in which the Company is involved and we are confident that the current portfolio and these opportunities will, together, provide outperformance to shareholders in the future."

25 years a property company

On the 21st August 1984, Michael Slade joined the Board of Helical Bar plc, quickly transforming the Company from a manufacturer of steel reinforcement bars to the commercial property company it remains today. During this period, Helical has increased its market capitalisation from circa £840,000 to today’s value of £360m, having returned £199m to shareholders, net of new share capital raised.

For further information, please contact:

Helical Bar plc 020 7629 0113
Michael Slade (Chief Executive)
Nigel McNair Scott (Finance Director)  
Address: 11-15 Farm Street, London W1J 5RS
Fax: 020 7408 1666
Financial Dynamics 020 7831 3113
Stephanie Highett/Dido Laurimore  

View the full Interim Results 2009 (in pdf format).