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RNS

Replacement Half-year Report

Released 18:10 28-Nov-2019

RNS Number : 0684V
TR Property Investment Trust PLC
28 November 2019
 

The following amendment has been made to the "Half-year Report" announcement released on 28/11/2019 at 7:00am under RNS No 9066U.

The original RNS stated in the Chairman's Statement that the discount of the share price to the Net Asset Value reduced over the period from 5.3% to 4.8%. This has now been corrected to 5.9% to 4.8%.

The following sentence has also been removed from the Chairman's Statement: '*Share price discount to capital only NAV.'

All other details remain unchanged. The full amended announcement is set out below.

 

 

 

This announcement and the information contained herein is not for publication, distribution or release in, or into, directly or indirectly, the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan.

 

TR PROPERTY INVESTMENT TRUST PLC

Financial Report for the half year ended 30 September 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

28 November 2019

 

Financial Highlights and Performance

 

 

 

 

 

At 30 September

2019

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

 

At 31 March 2019

(Audited)

 

 

 

 

 

%

Change

Balance Sheet

 

 

 

Net asset value per share

445.12p

418.54p

+6.4

Shareholders' funds (£'000)

1,412,577

1,328,254

+6.4

Shares in issue at the end of the period (m)

317.4

317.4

+0.0

Net debt¹ ⁵

11.4%

10.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Share Price

 

 

 

Share price

423.50p

394.00p

+7.5

Market capitalisation

£1,344m

£1,250m

+7.5

 

 

 

 

 

Half year ended

30 September 2019 (Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September 2018 (Unaudited)

 

 

 

%

Change

Revenue and dividends

 

 

 

Revenue earnings per share

9.96 p

9.25p

+7.7

Interim dividend per share

5.20p

4.90p

+6.1

 

 

 

 

 

Half year ended

30 September 2019 (Unaudited)

 

Year ended

31 March

2019

(Audited)

 

 

 

 

Performance: Assets and Benchmark

 

 

 

Net Asset Value total return²

+8.5%

+9.1%

 

Benchmark total return

+6.7%

+5.6%

 

Share price total return³

+9.7%

+6.2%

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing Charges⁴ ⁵

 

 

 

Including performance fee

+0.76%

+1.10%

 

Excluding performance fee

+0.61%

+0.63%

 

Excluding performance fee and direct property costs

+0.59%

+0.61%

 

 

1. Net debt is the total value of loan notes and loans (including notional exposure to CFDs) less cash as a proportion of net asset value.

2. The NAV Total Return for the year is calculated by reinvesting the dividends in the assets of the Company from the relevant ex-dividend date. Dividends are deemed to be reinvested on the ex-dividend date as this is the protocol used by the Company's benchmark and other indices.

3. The Share Price Total Return is calculated by reinvesting the dividends in the shares of the Company from the relevant ex-dividend date.

4. Ongoing Charges are calculated in accordance with the AIC methodology. The ratio for 30 September 2019 is based on forecast expenses and charges for the year ending 31 March 2020. The performance fee included in the calculation above is the provision at 30 September 2019 referred to in note 2 rather than an estimate of the fee at the year end.

5. Considered to be an Alternative Performance Measure as defined in the full Interim Report.

 

 

Dividend

 

An interim dividend of 5.20p (2018: 4.90p) will be paid on 7 January 2020 to shareholders on the register on 6 December 2019. The shares will be quoted ex-dividend on 5 December 2019.

 

Chairman's Statement

 

Introduction

For the six months to 30th September, the Trust delivered a robust NAV total return of 8.5% which was ahead of the benchmark total return of 6.7%. The share price total return was larger at 9.7% as the Trust's shares traded close to, and occasionally at a premium to, the net asset value.

 

This performance was achieved against a backdrop of weakening confidence in the prospects for further growth in the current global economic cycle. Importantly, central banks around the world including the U.S. Federal Reserve, remain determined to offer support through further easing in monetary policy. At the end of October the Fed announced a further 25bp cut bringing the mid cycle rate reduction to 75bps. In Europe, the European Central Bank cut rates and announced a resumption of bond buying. Such activity continues to help reduce the cost of borrowing and this in turn supports  asset values. In these circumstances real estate remains a firm beneficiary.

 

Investors have had to wrestle with gauging the impact of the political uncertainty in the UK and Europe. Capital expenditure and investment decisions by corporates alongside spending by consumers have all suffered from deferral. Unsurprisingly, demand for logistics and warehousing remains very strong. Businesses continue to stockpile and retail property continues to suffer from the adversities of this consumption slowdown, combined with the political uncertainty as well as the relentless move to online shopping. The surprise has been the robust demand for office space in London, although flexibility has become paramount. Meanwhile Continental Europe's dominant cities are also in good health with rental growth still evident.

 

Earnings from our companies have continued to show steady growth and outside of the retail sector, management teams remain confident of the return prospects for their businesses.

 

Revenue Results and Dividend

The half year earnings of 9.96p are 7.7% ahead of the earnings at the prior year first half reflecting the growth referred to above assisted marginally by currency and a lower tax charge.

 

The Board has announced an interim dividend of 5.20p just over 6% ahead of the prior year interim dividend of 4.90p.

 

Revenue Outlook

Although our manager is confident of the continued earnings prospects for the companies we invest in, the uncertainties ahead and in particular the potential impact on Sterling, make it difficult to predict the full year outcome. The interim earnings typically represent around 65% of our full year earnings, but it is quite possible that significant currency fluctuations and changes in the portfolio could still have a material impact on our revenue for the full year.

 

Net Debt and Currencies

The level of gearing closed the half year at 11.4%. The gearing increased from 10.0% reported at the March year end, to around 13.5% through July and August, and has been reduced again towards the end of September. This reflects  the sale of a directly owned property close to the half year and also a tactical response to the strong rally in UK names over the summer. Currency exposure in respect of the capital account (as opposed to the income account referred to above) is maintained in line with the benchmark. Therefore, the valuation of a significant proportion of the portfolio which is denominated in currencies other than Sterling, will increase if Sterling weakens and vice versa if the currency strengthens.

 

Discount and Share Repurchases

The discount of the share price to the Net Asset Value reduced over the period from 5.9% to 4.8%. There were some fluctuations over the period with the shares standing at a small premium at times. There were no share repurchases in the half year period. 

 

The website (www.trproperty.com) provides current and background data on the Trust including an informative monthly fact sheet prepared by the Manager alongside the Annual and Interim Reports.

 

Board Changes

I am delighted to report the appointment of Kate Bolsover to the Board with effect from 1st October. Kate brings a wealth of experience, which has further strengthened the Board. She was managing director of the mutual fund business at JP Morgan Cazenove and more recently has held a range of board positions including both chair and senior independent director of several investment trusts.

 

Awards

The Trust recently won the Property category in the AJ Bell Fund & Investment Trust Awards 2019.

 

Outlook

The themes of weakening global growth leading to central bank's monetary stimulus are clear.  It is somewhat less clear what the outcomes will be to major geo-political and economic events such as the US/China trade tensions, the recently announced UK General Election and presumed subsequent withdrawal from the European Union. 

 

However, a decade of ultra low interest rates and a reluctance of governments and corporates to drive capital investment has resulted in strengthened balance sheets but left the world awash with both capital (savings) seeking investment and income. We therefore find ourselves in the peculiar situation with strong demand for high quality commercial property even at record low yields, but with banks remaining unwilling to finance speculative development. The result has been steady asset values (outside of retail) coupled with little evidence of over development.

 

Looking forward our managers remain ever vigilant about tenant quality and credit risk so that we focus on secure and stable earnings. Low (or even negative) interest rates will support asset prices but, as we are seeing every day in the retail sector, collapsing tenant demand, falling rents and corporate restructurings quickly equates to dramatic valuation falls.

 

Businesses and consumers across Continental Europe and the UK have endured three years of political uncertainty and referencing that fact has been a staple part of this outlook over that period. I offer no predictions of the political process or outcomes but I would remind investors that TR Property is truly pan-European in portfolio construction, currency exposure and its ability to seek out real estate opportunities.

 

 

Hugh Seaborn

Chairman

27 November 2019

 

Directors' Responsibility Statement

The Directors acknowledge responsibility for the interim results and approve this Half-Yearly Financial Report. The principal risks facing the Company are substantially unchanged since the date of the Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2019 and continue to be as set out in that report.

The Directors of TR Property Investment Trust plc confirm that to the best of their knowledge:

(a)       the Half-Yearly Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with IAS34 as adopted by the European Union and give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit for the period of the Group as required by the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules ('DTR') 4.2.4R;

 

(b)       the Chairman's Statement together with the following Manager's Report includes a fair review of the information required by DTR 4.2.7R (indication of important events during the first six months and description of principal risks and uncertainties for the remaining six months of the year); and

 

(c)       the report includes a fair review of the information required by DTR 4.2.8R.

 

Approved by the Board on 27 November 2019 and signed on its behalf by Hugh Seaborn, Chairman

 

 

Manager's Report

 

Performance

The Net Asset Value total return for the six months was 8.5%, ahead of the benchmark total return at 6.7%. Continental property companies returned 5.4% (in local currency terms) again outperforming their UK counterparts (+4.3%) but, unlike the last four half year reporting periods, this time the difference was much more marginal. However, when viewed in GBP, the Continental returns were once again more substantial at 8.3% due to further GBP weakness.

 

Whilst the overall property indices travelled in a tight band over the period, at the sector and country level there were large dispersions of returns. The slow 'car crash' of retail property values continued to be evidenced in the interim results of companies such as Hammerson, Intu and Capital & Regional. Share prices have disconnected from underlying asset values given how hard it is to assess value accurately. The twin evils of too much leverage and weakening earnings continue to keep investors away. The Trust has very modest exposure to UK retail (less than 3.5% of NAV) and importantly nearly half of that is through Supermarket Income REIT. This company was the only UK retail name to have positive performance in the period and this helped drive our relative outperformance in this sector. Post the half year the company successfully raised capital and now trades at a premium to its asset value.

 

German residential has been a mainstay of performance in the fund for many years. In the Annual Report, I highlighted the concerns around the risk of the State of Berlin seeking to impose (in contradiction of federal practice) rent freezes and aggressive restrictions on indexation. These new rules ('Mietendeckel') look likely to become law in November, although the devil is always in the detail. Investors also worry that there could be contagion of this type of legislation to other regions. We do not agree with that premise and have maintained our non-Berlin exposure. It is important to note that our German-wide (ex Berlin) exposure (through Vonovia and LEG) is far greater than our investment in that one city.

 

Our loosely termed 'alternatives' group which includes student accommodation, self-storage and healthcare, all performed well and each sub-sector contributed strongly to performance - both absolute and relative. I have highlighted in the past our index-linked, long income exposure which overlaps with this group, particularly in healthcare and we saw strong returns there as these businesses benefited from the drop in the cost of long term financing.

 

This theme of 'lower for longer' debt cost resonated strongly in Sweden. Swedish property companies, with just one exception, have greater than average gearing coupled with higher proportions of short term debt. The combination of a falling cost of debt environment, coupled with rental growth at the asset level has led to very strong performances from many of these companies.

 

Switzerland, a market where we see little organic growth, benefited from being a safe haven in these volatile times. Swiss investors also sought exposure to their domestic currency and property names yielding 3% to 4% look attractive regardless of the medium term fundamentals.

 

The industrial and logistics overweight remains a key theme in the portfolio. Not only did we experience strong organic growth from all our companies (particularly those with development opportunities) but we benefited from corporate activity as well. In May, Londonmetric announced the agreed takeover of A&J Mucklow, the specialist Midlands industrial owner and developer. The Trust owned 5% of Mucklow. We opted for shares (rather than cash) in Londonmetric as we are firm advocates of the management team and the opportunities afforded in the merged vehicle.

 

Office markets across Europe continue to see rental growth. Our overweight to Paris (Gecina, Covivio) and Stockholm (Fabege, Kungsladen) added to performance but our underweight to Madrid and Barcelona proved costly. Whilst we are very positive about the outlook for both Spanish cities we focused our exposure through Arima, the new vehicle of the Axiara management team. Axiara was sold to Colonial in 2018 and was a successful investment for the Trust. We are confident that they have invested the proceeds of the IPO well but it will take time for the returns to materialise.

 

Central London's solid performance remains a conundrum and is reviewed later in this report. Our overweight to decentralised South East offices versus our underweight to Central London proved a poor decision. However, I am confident that that has more to do with illiquidity in the smaller companies which provide us with that exposure, McKay Securities and CLS Holdings, than the health of the underlying markets. In fact their relative undervaluation provides an ongoing investment opportunity.

 

Offices

The resilience of the London office market in terms of both rents and capital value stability continues to surprise us. Demand remains broad based, particularly across tech and media industries. Companies are happy to pay for quality and the premium rents achieved on Grade A (new and refurbished) space have persisted. In fact, the drought of new space has driven pre-lets (advance commitments) to record levels. Investment appetite is driven by expectations of sustainable rents with future growth prospects. As a consequence investors remain active buyers. The difference between 2018 and 2019 has been the resurgence of domestic interest particularly in the City. However, the Brexit 'drag' has pulled investment volumes lower with Savills year to date estimates of £4.9bn in the City and £2.8bn in the West End both c50% below the five year average.

 

The rise of the flexible office provider remains a key topic, not least because of the travails of WeWork. Our view is that the flexible space market share (currently c5% of floorspace in Central London) will continue to grow. Tenants want the convenience and tenure flex and are prepared to pay for it. WeWork has led the space absorption charge, doubling its footprint each year since 2016. They are not alone and the difficulty for market observers is getting a handle on the underlying occupancy of these types of operators. WeWork et al will quickly cease acquiring space if they cannot fill or make money from their current estates. We remain cautious.

 

The picture across the largest cities in Continental Europe has been similar but with particular strength in Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid and Barcelona. Paris has year to date capital growth of 15% in core CBD and even higher figures in some peripheral markets. Underlying this is year on year rental growth of 5% to 7% across all the Paris sub-markets. In Spain, CBRE reported the fastest take up in Q3 for over 12 years. Vacancy has fallen a full percent to 8.7% in a year and prime rents reached €35.5 per sq m/per month (+7.6% year on year). Rents have been stable in the big six German cities with Berlin again reporting best in class growth.

 

Investment volumes in Paris have been lower than last year (but that period was buoyed by the Terreis €1.4bn transaction). Germany, Spain and Scandinavia all continue to attract global capital however the Netherlands (-34%) and Ireland (-17%) both saw falls in investment volumes between H1 2018 and H1 2019 according to CBRE.

 

Retail

Retail property of all types (with the exception of well let supermarkets) across Europe continue to suffer value degradation to varying degrees. Matters remain most acute in the UK. The period saw a number of high profile CVAs (company voluntary arrangements) including the long anticipated Debenhams and Arcadia. The CVAs provided a 'stay of execution' for both retailers with store closures and large rent reductions but neither retailer's future is assured. The twin headwinds of the online challenge and high property taxes (rates) continue to batter the profitability of all but best in class retailers. Overall, vacancy in UK retail reached 13%, the correction towards sustainable rental levels remains work in progress. With concerns over the quality and depth of cashflow, investors have not returned. Shopping centre transaction volumes will be lower in 2019 than they were in 2018 which itself was a previous record. The largest transaction was the sale by Intu of its Derby centre. However, the buyer receives a priority income stream and, therefore, the vendor was left with significant capital risk if the rental income falls. A desperate transaction from the seller's point of view. We expect Intu will be forced to raise capital as its balance sheet deteriorates.

 

Whilst we have seen a number of retailer failures across Continental Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, compared to the UK numbers these have been modest. European retail rents are generally much closer to sustainable levels. Whilst we see weakness in headline rents, it is not on the scale of the UK. The market share of online purchases is currently far lower than the UK but investors expect the trend to online to accelerate as next day delivery becomes more standard. It is no surprise that retail investment has fallen 22% between H1 2018 and H1 2019 according to CBRE. Spain, which has seen strong employment and wage growth was the only country where investment volumes rose.

 

Distribution and Industrial

Occupier demand has remained robust in the UK even in the face of the supply chain uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The first nine months of 2019 saw take up reach 19.7m sq ft, just 10% down on last year. DTRE, predicts that full year lease up will match the five year average of 28m sq ft. Whilst this may only be matching the average, these are huge numbers and reflect the scale of growth in this key market. The supply response has been forthcoming and we predict little rental growth in certain regions such as the East Midlands where new supply is more than matching demand. Much hinges on the Brexit outcome for this type of real estate. We continue to favour the smaller, urban and suburban markets as opposed to the larger 'big boxes'. Yields have stopped falling for this latter group. However, the medium term outlook remains positive with the ONS reporting that online retail accounted for 18% of total retail sales in 2018. Forrester's (a research and consulting group) forecast that it will reach 25% by 2023.

 

Continental Europe is a different story with Western Europe averaging 10.2% but just 5% in Spain and Italy. With a relatively nascent big box market, yields have historically been much higher than the UK. We are confident that yield compression will remain an attractive feature of almost all these markets. CBRE estimate that €32bn of capital flowed into this subsector in the year to June 2019, a sum only just eclipsed by the same period a year earlier. This year will exceed the 10 year average and this figure excludes the largest single property transaction, Logicor, which alone accounts for €12.2bn of logistics assets across Europe. The money is following the rental growth. Spain saw prime logistics rents rise 4% in H1 2019. In Dublin, the figure was 5%. Vacancy stands at less than 5% in Germany, Sweden, Ireland  and the Czech Republic.

 

Analysis by Savills assessed the attractiveness of 32 European countries across 23 different metrics. One of the conclusions identified was the tipping point for rapid growth in ecommerce logistics. Once online retail sales exceeded 11% of all sales, there was a step change in logistics demand.

 

Residential

The private rental sector continues to flourish with demand continuing to outstrip supply. The risk is not economic but political. As detailed earlier, Berlin is experiencing an extreme form of state intervention. Our view remains that the unique history of this city, coupled with the unusual political structure where the city and the state of Berlin are effectively one, makes the likelihood of contagion to other German residential markets low.

 

However, the speed of market driven rental growth and the social sensitivity of this particular sector means that we must have a constant eye on the risk of state intervention across Europe. We remain more attracted to markets where there are already state restrictions as this ensures that book values remain below rebuild cost. The key is to ensure that the rent restrictions allow for indexation and this makes these income streams very attractive. We continue to favour Germany (ex-Berlin), Ireland and Sweden, although the Swedish residential names have become expensive and we have recently reduced exposure to those.

 

Alternatives

As mentioned earlier this group is now a core part of the portfolio. Unite's purchase of Liberty Living was welcomed by the market (us included). In fact, the Trust had committed to being a cornerstone investor when the previous owners had considered floating the business in 2015. Given the investor demand for this asset class, we would expect more portfolios to seek a listing.

 

Healthcare remains popular, particularly where investors are comfortable with the underlying tenant risk, and we have seen strong performance from Assura and PHP with their direct relationships with state healthcare bodies in the UK and Ireland. The elderly care providers have seen more modest returns due to concerns over certain operators' financial strength but it was good to see Target Healthcare (a stock we hold) raise £80m in May.

 

Self-storage has also been a strong performer and we see an increase in the use of short-term storage by commercial users. The weakening in the London housing market has also enabled both Big Yellow and Safestore to acquire sites which might have previously been outbid by residential operators.

 

Debt and Equity Capital Markets

Refinancing and securing record low costs of debt remains a popular activity for CFOs across the listed property sector. EPRA recorded £12.6bn of debt raised in the period under review and £15.3bn in the calendar year to date. This is a slightly lower run rate than previous years but that is to be expected given how much debt has been refinanced at these very low levels over the last few years. We do continue to see record low costs of debt being secured. By way of example, in October, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield priced a €750m 12-year bond at a fixed annual coupon of 0.875%.

 

There were no IPOs in the period, however, we saw £3.7bn of follow on capital raisings. These were dominated by businesses raising capital to make corporate acquisitions. These included Vonovia raising €744m to aid its acquisition of Victoria Park in Sweden and Unite (£290m) to aid the purchase of Liberty Living. Aedifica, the healthcare operator raised €600m to acquire a UK portfolio (£450m) and aid expansion.

 

Aroundtown, the aggressively expanding German commercial and residential investor, was the most prolific issuer of debt, raising a total of €3.0bn in a mix of straight bonds, senior unsecured and perpetual subordinated notes.

 

Property Shares

Property equity markets moved broadly sideways until late July when the background (rumbling) noise of the Brexit debacle once again rose in volume and pitch, driving investors away from UK domestic stocks. Property companies are a disproportionately large component of UK domestic 'baskets' due to their high level of GBP earnings. UK property names which had been weakening over the summer fell by 7.5% in the first two weeks of August. What was almost more surprising was the subsequent rally which ran from 15th August to 30th September adding 12.4% as investors changed their views entirely with the incoming Prime Minister appearing to be more determined than ever to drive matters to a conclusion, albeit an unknown one. Broader markets also saw a strong style rotation from 'growth' to 'value' and property names - seen as value plays - were a beneficiary.

 

Once again the central banks have played a leading role in investor behaviour. ECB President Draghi delivered his parting shot, another rate cut and a renewed bond buying programme. More QE saw the 10-year Bund yield fall to -0.6% at the end of September. Property values with their long duration income profiles benefit from these further falls in the cost of long-term financing.

 

Against this benign backdrop of positive macro policies, there was a broad dispersion of fundamental real estate factors driving performance at the sector and company level. The issues surrounding retail property require no introduction. I have highlighted in previous reports the differential in characteristics between UK retail property and its Continental counterparts. These differences particularly around greater affordability across Europe continue to dominate. The essence is that the UK has a triple whammy of higher rents, much higher property taxes (rates) and greater online penetration. This continued to be reflected in the performance of the respective retail landlords. The worst performing Continental business, Vastned Retail, returned -15.6% versus -58.4% for Intu and -19.6% for Capital & Regional. Klepierre returned +3.5% whilst Hammerson returned -11.3%. The pattern of performance is clear.

 

As mentioned in the summary, German residential has been a stalwart sector for many years, growing in importance through capital increases and M&A driven by excellent returns. The Berlin political situation - which remains unresolved - rocked investor confidence. There are three listed companies with high exposure to the Berlin residential market, the largest Deutsche Wohnen returned -20.6% and the smallest, Phoenix Spree -16.6%. We are exposed to both these businesses but not ADO Properties which returned -23.9%. These figures are all very disappointing but it is worth reminding investors that the vast bulk of our German residential exposure is through LEG (-0.9%) and Vonovia (+3.8%). The weak returns from these stalwarts, who own thousands of apartments across the whole of Germany, points to investors' concerns. Nevertheless, their relative outperformance of the Berlin names illustrates how investors see little chance of contagion from the Berlin political process.

 

Scandinavia and Sweden in particular were strong performers in the period. Almost all Nordic property companies operate with higher leverage and shorter duration debt structures than the average pan European property company. The consequence of the dovish response by the Riksbank (mirroring the ECB) was to supercharge earnings expectations and total returns with the Swedish element of the benchmark returning 20.2% in the six months. Residential names performed particularly well with Balder +25.1% and Kojamo of Finland returning a hugely impressive 40%. Not only have the underlying residential letting markets remained strong but corporate activity provided reinforcing datapoints. Vovonia acquired 61% of Hembla in a €1.1bn transaction adding to this giant residential investor's expansion outside of Germany.

 

The industrial/logistics markets across Europe remain top of investors shopping lists with all of our companies in this preferred sector beating the benchmark. Standout performances came from Catena (+28.4%) and WDP (+22.0%). In the UK, we saw strong performances on the back of corporate activity with Londonmetric acquiring A&J Mucklow in a part paper/part cash £415m deal. The Trust owned 5% of Mucklow and enjoyed a tremendous return of 27.5% in the period with the transaction completing at the end of June. Londonmetric has been a key holding for many years and we welcome the increased scale together with the opportunities offered by Mucklow's West Midlands assets.

 

Swiss property stocks draw investors in volatile times. The uncertainty surrounding the global outlook as well as the ongoing local issues in Europe resulted in the Swiss property companies collectively returning +15% (in CHF) in the six months to September.

 

Investment Activity

Turnover (purchases and sales divided by two) totalled £157.8m equating to 12.0% of the average net assets over the period. This compares to £122.7m in the same period last year and £138.8m for the previous year. The increase compared to previous periods reflects, in part, the block disposals following the privatisations of Telford Homes (acquired in July by Trammel Crow part of the CBRE group) and Green REIT (acquired in September by US private equity Henderson Park).

 

Corporate activity has been a strong feature of the period as noted earlier. Much more commercial property is owned privately than publicly and, if public markets are going to insist on valuing companies significantly below asset value, then private capital will step in. Green REIT is a case in point, where the stock traded between €1.30 and €1.60 per share for 4 years prior to the Board announcing their intention to sell the business. The eventual sale price was €1.94 per share.

 

In the logistics space, I reduced exposure to the UK names particularly those with the greatest 'big box' exposure as share prices moved to premiums to net asset values. I remain positive about the prospects for the sector, particularly those with development programmes in densely populated markets. I increased our Continental European positions (Argan, Catena, VIB, Montea, WDP) where all our positions have significant landbanks and where we anticipate further yield tightening (capital values rising) just as we have experienced in the UK.

 

As noted earlier, the vast majority of our German residential exposure is outside of Berlin and this will remain the case as we continue to absorb the impact of this historic state intervention freezing rents for five years. I have, though, increased our exposure to German commercial property through adding to VIB Vermoegen (industrial), Sirius and CLS (offices) and Aroundtown (all sectors). The latter has just agreed non-binding terms to acquire a smaller competitor, TLG. The twist in this particularly opaque saga is that TLG had already bought / committed to acquire, for cash, up to 15% of Aroundtown owned by the founder, Yakir Gabay. This represents 2/3 of his holding and TLG paid a hefty premium to the share price. Minority shareholders will need to be able to rely on a strong supervisory board going forward. Not as easy as it sounds.

 

Revenue and Revenue Outlook

Earnings for the first half of the year increased by 7.7% over the prior year first half to 9.96p per share. This reflected the underlying earnings growth we have seen from our portfolio with a little help from weakening sterling and a lower tax charge. Some modest successes in reclaiming withholding tax together with  beneficial withholding tax rates on some of the dividends received in the first half maintained the effective tax rate to around 10.5%, in line with the prior year. The prior year tax charge had benefitted from some more significant withholding tax reclaims and we anticipate a slightly higher effective tax rate in the second half.

 

The fortunes of sterling remain a significant unknown with the potential for change in either direction. Although 68% of our projected non-sterling income has already been collected, foreign exchange movements could still have a significant impact on the revenue account. Another material factor will be the positioning of the portfolio through the second half as we take into account political events. This may also lead to a change in the gearing levels which will have an impact upon the revenue account.

 

Gearing and Debt

Gearing at the end of September was modestly higher than at the year-end, although this disguises activity in-between. Corporate transactions delivered cash just ahead of the year end and, as I wrote the Annual Report in May, this had not been re-invested given the uncertain political outlook. Net investment increased over the early part of summer with gearing moving from 10.0% to around 13.5% but then was pulled back again towards the end of the period in response to the dramatic rally in UK names from mid-August. Essentially, I have been taking profits in the UK larger cap names and reduced London exposure as share prices return to pre-Referendum levels and the gearing level has ended the period at just over 11%.

 

At the time of writing, we have just entered into a new loan agreement with ICBC for a facility of £20m. This addition diversifies our borrowing relationships, which we are always keen to do, and gives us the capacity to effect gearing towards the upper limit of our guidelines if deemed advantageous.

 

Direct Physical Portfolio

The physical property portfolio produced a total return of 1.2% for the 6 months comprising a capital return of -0.5% and an income return of 1.7%.

 

At the end of the period, Field House, Harlow was sold for £10.5m, 3% ahead of book cost after all fees and rental top ups. The price reflected a net initial yield of 7.7% and a capital value of £170 per sq. ft and comes at the end of an intensive period of asset management. We successfully completed the rent review of Teva (the principal tenant) together with the letting of the vacant 1st floor suite at a new record rent for the building. 

 

Over the summer at The Colonnades in Bayswater, we completed the separation and refurbishment/extension for the old public house and flat above. We have created a modern, fully furnished 3 bed, 3 bath flat with its own direct access. Previously, redundant space has been incorporated to provide a cinema room.  The property is on the market to sell with a new long lease and early interest has been positive. These works also included the external recladding of the pub and we hope to find a new operator shortly.

 

The planning application for the redevelopment of our industrial estate in Wandsworth remains with the Council for determination but we are informed that it will go to the planning committee before the Christmas break. The length of time it has taken to reach this point in the planning application process (over a year) reflects not only the scheme's size and complexity, but also how stretched local authority planning teams are.

 

Outlook

The ongoing Brexit saga continues to dominate the outlook. However, the country does appear to be inching towards an outcome after three years of negotiation and Parliamentary stalemate. Clarity will result in the release of pent up investment decisions. This will aid property values as both tenants and investors commit to transactions. Beyond that potential short term bounce, we remain focused on the longer-term sector-focused dynamics which are broadly the same as they were six months or a year ago. Retail property (particularly in the UK) remains of deep concern. The flipside of that coin - logistics - the reverse. However, equity markets are now up with events with deep discounts applied to retail names and premiums for logistics businesses. The largest city office markets across Europe are set fair with few exhibiting over supply. The private residential sector is also robust with wage growth ensuring affordability, although the pace of rental growth is a growing concern and (further) direct intervention (as seen in Berlin), whilst unlikely, cannot be ruled out. The reality of the situation is the acute shortage of accommodation as these key cities grow and more rural areas depopulate.

 

Underpinning all this commentary at the sector level is the response of the central banks. Inflation expectations in the Eurozone, a metric closely watched by the ECB's governing council, fell to an all-time low in early October. The 'five-year, five year inflation forward' which measures how much annual inflation markets are pricing in starting in five years' time sank below 1.1%. With this low level of inflation expectation, interest rates will remain lower for longer and the hunt for income and yield is set to continue. Real assets remain a good source of that income. The key is in the assessment of that income quality.

 

 

Marcus Phayre-Mudge

Fund Manager

27 November 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GROUP STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

for the half year ended 30 September 2019

 

 

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September 2019

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September 2018

(Audited)

Year ended

31 March 2019

 

Revenue

Return

Capital

Return

Total

Revenue

Return

Capital

Return

Total

Revenue

Return

Capital

Return

 

Total

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investment income

31,141

-

31,141

30,130

-

30,130

44,771

-

44,771

Other operating income

13

-

13

11

-

11

674

-

674

Gross rental income

1,763

-

1,763

1,789

-

1,789

3,659

-

3,659

Service charge income

1,039

-

1,039

928

-

928

1,608

-

1,608

Gains on investments held at fair value

-

79,313

79,313

-

66,774

66,774

-

96,594

96,594

Net movement on foreign exchange; investments and loan notes

-

6,881

6,881

-

1,491

1,491

-

(1,463)

(1,463)

Net movement on foreign exchange;

cash and cash equivalents

-

(41)

(41)

-

1,320

1,320

-

(508)

(508)

Net returns on contracts for difference

4,365

(2,174)

2,191

3,038

(2,812)

226

6,469

(18,380)

(11,911)

 

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

Total income

38,321

83,979

122,300

35,896

66,773

102,669

57,181

76,243

133,424

 

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Management and performance fees (note 2)

(769)

(4,390)

(5,159)

(760)

(4,650)

(5,410)

(1,514)

(10,653)

(12,167)

Direct property expenses, rent payable  and service charge costs

(1,168)

-

(1,168)

(1,007)

-

(1, 007)

(1,940)

-

(1,940)

Other administrative expenses

(625)

(302)

(927)

(604)

(275)

(879)

(1,271)

(564)

(1,835)

 

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

Total operating expenses

(2,562)

(4,692)

(7,254)

(2,371)

(4,925)

(7,296)

(4,725)

(11,217)

(15,942)

 

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

Operating profit

35,759

79,287

115,046

33,525

61,848

95,373

52,456

65,026

117,482

Finance costs

(412)

(1,236)

(1,648)

(405)

(1,215)

(1, 620)

(851)

(2,554)

(3,405)

 

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

Profit from operations before tax

35,347

78,051

113,398

33,120

60,633

93,753

51,605

62,472

114,077

Taxation

(3,737)

1,954

(1,783)

(3,783)

1,962

(1,821)

(5,351)

3,479

(1,872)

 

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

Total comprehensive income

31,610

80,005

111,615

29,337

62,595

91,932

46,254

65,951

112,205

 

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

Earnings  per Ordinary share

(note 3)

9.96p

25.21p

35.17p

9.25p

19.72p

28.97p

14.58p

20.78

35.36p

 

The total column of this statement represents the Group's Statement of Comprehensive Income, prepared in accordance with IFRS. The revenue return and capital return columns are supplementary to this and are prepared under guidance published by the Association of Investment Companies. All items in the above statement derive from continuing operations.

 

The Group does not have any other income or expense that is not included in the above statement, therefore 'Total Comprehensive Income' is also the profit for the period.

 

All income is attributable to the shareholders of the parent company.

 

The final Ordinary dividend of 8.60p (2018: 7.55p) in respect of the year ended 31 March 2019 was declared on 30 May 2019 (2018: 31 May 2018) and was paid on 30 July 2019 (2018: 31 July 2018). This can be found in the Group Statement of Changes in Equity for the half year ended 30 September 2019.

 

The interim Ordinary dividend of 5.20p (2019: 4.90p) in respect of the year ended 31 March 2020 was declared on 28 November 2019 (2019: 22 November 2018) and will be paid on 7 January 2020 (2019: 2 January 2019).

 

 

GROUP AND COMPANY STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

 

 

Share

Capital

Ordinary

£'000

Share Premium Account

£'000

Capital Redemption Reserve

£'000

Retained Earnings Ordinary £'000

Total

£'000

For the half year ended 30 September 2019 (Unaudited)

At 31 March 2019

79,338

43,162

43,971

1,161,783

1,328,254

Net profit for the half year

-

-

-

111,615

111,615

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(27,292)

(27,292)

 

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

At 30 September 2019

79,338

43,971

1,246,106

1,412,577

 

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Capital Ordinary £'000

Share Premium Account

£'000

Capital Redemption Reserve

£'000

Retained Earnings Ordinary £'000

Total

£'000

For the half year ended 30 September 2018 (Unaudited)

At 31 March 2018

79,338

43,162

43,971

1,089,088

1,255,559

Net profit for the half year

-

-

-

91,932

91,932

Dividends paid

-

-

(23,960)

(23,960)

 

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

At 30 September 2018

79,338

43,971

1,157,060

1,323,531

 

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Capital Ordinary £'000

Share Premium Account

£'000

Capital Redemption Reserve

£'000

Retained Earnings Ordinary £'000

 

 

Total

£'000

For the year ended 31 March 2019 (Audited)

At 31 March 2018

79,338

43,162

43,971

1,089,088

1,255,559

Net profit for the year

-

-

-

112,205

112,205

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(39,510)

(39,510)

 

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

At 31 March 2019

79,338

43,971

1,161,783

1,328,254

 

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

_  _   __

 

 

 

 

 

GROUP BALANCE SHEET

as at 30 September 2019

 

 

30 September

2019

(Unaudited)

£'000

30 September

2018

(Unaudited)

£'000

31 March

2019

(Audited)

£'000

 

 

 

 

Non-current assets

 

 

 

Investments held at fair value

1,423,356

1,339,652

1,291,442

Deferred taxation asset

74

243

243

 

_________

_________

_________

 

1,423,430

1,339,895

1,291,685

 

 

 

 

Current assets

 

 

 

Debtors

70,503

41,874

54,892

Cash and cash equivalents

40,503

9,637

52,282

 

_________

_________

_________

 

111,006

51,511

107,174

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities

(62,625)

(8,340)

(12,520)

 

_________

_________

_________

Net current assets

48,381

43,171

94,654

 

 

 

 

Total assets less current liabilities

1,471,811

1,383,066

1,386,339

 

 

 

 

Non-current liabilities

(59,234)

(59,535)

(58,085)

 

_________

_________

_________

Net assets

1,412,577

1,323,531

1,328,254

 

_________

_________

_________

 

 

 

 

Capital and reserves

 

 

 

Called up share capital

79,338

79,338

79,338

Share premium account

43,162

43,162

43,162

Capital redemption reserve

43,971

43,971

43,971

Retained earnings (note 7)

1,246,106

1,157,060

1,161,783

 

_________

_________

_________

Equity shareholders' funds

1,412,577

1,323,531

1,328,254

 

_________

_________

_________

 

 

 

 

Net asset value per:

 

 

 

Ordinary share

445.12p

417.06p

418.54p

 

 

 

GROUP CASH FLOW STATEMENT

For the half year ended 30 September 2019

 

 

Half  year ended

30 September 2019

(Unaudited)

Half  year ended

30 September 2018

(Unaudited)

Year ended

31 March 2019

(Audited)

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

Reconciliation of profit from operations before tax to net cash inflow from operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit from operations before tax

113,398

93,753

114,077

Finance costs

1,648

1,620

3,405

Gains on investments and derivatives held at fair value through profit or loss

(77,139)

(63,962)

(78,214)

Net movement on foreign exchange; cash and cash equivalents and loan notes

1,191

(659)

(292)

Decrease/(increase) in accrued income

1,745

1,079

(1,129)

Increase in other debtors

(16,618)

(10,419)

(18,350)

Decrease in other creditors

(2,628)

(5,116)

(3,711)

Net (purchases)/sales of investments

(58,374)

51,124

115,685

Decrease/(increase) in sales settlement debtor

3,583

(500)

(3,334)

(Decrease)/ increase in purchase settlement creditor

(1,474)

148

1,474

Scrip dividends included in investment income

(3,310)

(7,748)

(8,226)

Scrip dividends included in net returns on contracts for difference

(439)

(779)

(936)

 

_________

_________

_________

Net cash (outflow)/inflow from operating activities before interest and taxation

(38,417)

58,541

120,449

Interest paid

(1,777)

(1,600)

(3,391)

Taxation paid

(1,252)

(1,778)

(1,872)

 

_________

_________

_________

Net cash (outflow)/inflow from operating activities

(41,446)

55,163

115,186

 

 

 

 

Financing activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity dividends paid

(27,292)

(23,960)

(39,510)

Drawdown/(repayment) of loans

57,000

(41,000)

(41,000)

 

_________

_________

_________

Net cash from/(used in) financing activities

29,708

(64,960)

(80,510)

 

_________

_________

_________

(Decrease) /increase in cash

(11,738)

(9,797)

34,676

Cash and cash equivalents at start of the period

52,282

18,114

18,114

Net movement on foreign exchange; cash and cash equivalents

(41)

1,320

(508)

 

_________

_________

_________

Cash and cash equivalents at end of the period

40,503

9,637

52,282

 

_________

_________

_________

Note

 

 

 

Dividends received

38,185

34,176

46,249

Interest received

14

8

669

 

NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

1

Basis of accounting 

 

The accounting policies applied in these interim financial statements are consistent with those applied in the Company's most recent annual financial statements. The financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis and in accordance with International Accounting Standard (IAS) 34 'Interim Financial Reporting'.

 

The financial statements have also been prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), "Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts," issued in October 2019, to the extent that it is consistent with IFRS.

 

The financial statements are presented in Sterling and all values are rounded to the nearest thousand pounds (£'000) except where otherwise indicated.

 

In accordance with IFRS 10 the Company has been designated as an investment entity on the basis that:

·      It obtains funds from investors and provides those investors with investment management services;

·      It commits to its investors that its business purpose is to invest solely for returns from capital appreciation and investment income; and

·      It measures and evaluates performance of substantially all of its investments on a fair value basis.

 

Each of the subsidiaries of the Company was established for the sole purpose of operating or supporting the investment operations of the Company (including raising additional financing), and is not itself an investment entity. IFRS 10 sets out that in the case of controlled entities that support the investment activity of the investment entity, those entities should be consolidated rather than presented as investments at fair value. Accordingly, the Company has consolidated the results and financial positions of those subsidiaries.

 

Subsidiaries are consolidated from the date of their acquisition, being the date on which the Company obtains control, and continue to be consolidated until the date that such control ceases. The financial statements of subsidiaries used in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements are based on consistent accounting policies. All intra-group balances and transactions, including unrealised profits arising therefrom, are eliminated. This is consistent with the presentation in previous periods.

 

All the subsidiaries of the Company have been consolidated in these financial statements.

 

IFRS 16 - Leases, which was effective from 1 January 2019, has been applied in the preparation of the interim financial statements. The application of the standard has not had any material impact on the interim financial statements and the Group's leases continue to be classified as operating leases with the leased assets recognised in the Balance Sheet.

 

2

Management fees

 

 

 

 

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September 2019

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September 2018

(Audited)

Year ended

31 March 2019

 

Revenue Return

£'000

Capital Return

£'000

Total

£'000

Revenue Return

£'000

Capital Return

£'000

Total

£'000

Revenue Return

£'000

Capital Return £'000

Total

£'000

Management fee

769

2,306

3,075

760

2,281

3,041

1,514

4,543

6,057

 

Performance fee

-

2,084

2,084

-

2,369

2,369

-

6,110

6,110

 

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

 

769

4,390

5,159

760

4,650

5,410

1,514

10,653

12,167

 

 

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

 

 

 

A provision has been made for a performance fee based on the net assets at 30 September 2019. No payment is due until the full year performance fee is calculated at 31 March 2020.

 

 

3

Earnings per share

 

The earnings per Ordinary share can be analysed between revenue and capital, as below.

 

 

Half year ended

30 September 2019

(Unaudited)

£'000

Half year ended

30 September

2018

(Unaudited)

£'000

Year ended

31 March

2019

(Audited)

£'000

 

 Net revenue profit

31,610

29,337

46,254

 

 Net capital profit

80,005

62,595

65,951

 

 

_______

_______

_________

 

 Net total profit

111,615

91,932

112,205

 

 

_______

_______

_________

 

Weighted average number of Ordinary shares in issue during the period

317,350,980

317,350,980

317,350,980

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pence

pence

pence

 

 Revenue earnings per Ordinary share

9.96

9.25

14.58

 

 Capital earnings per Ordinary share

25.21

19.72

20.78

 

 

_______

_______

_________

 

Earnings per Ordinary share

35.17

28.97

35.36

 

 

_______

_______

_________

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Changes in share capital

 

During the half year and since 30 September 2019, no Ordinary shares have been purchased and cancelled.

 

As at 30 September 2019 there were 317,350,980 Ordinary shares (30 September 2018: 317,350,980; 31 March 2019: 317,350,980 Ordinary shares) of 25p in issue.

 

5

Going concern

 

The directors believe that it is appropriate to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. The assets of the Company consist mainly of securities that are readily realisable and, accordingly, the Company has adequate financial resources to meet its liabilities as and when they fall due and continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future.

 

6

Fair value of financial assets and financial liabilities

 

Financial assets and financial liabilities are carried in the Balance Sheet either at their fair value (investments) or the balance sheet amount is a reasonable approximation of fair value (due from brokers, dividends and interest receivable, due to brokers, accruals and cash at bank).

 

Fair value hierarchy disclosures

The table below sets out fair value measurements using IFRS 13 fair value hierarchy.

 

 

Financial assets/(liabilities) at fair value through profit and loss

 

 

At 30 September 2019

Level 1

£'000

Level 2

£'000

Level 3

£'000

Total

£'000

Equity investments

1,332,042

-

377

1,332,419

Investment properties

-

-

90,937

90,937

Contracts for difference

-

4,139

-

4,139

 

_______

_______

_______

_______

 

1,332,042

4,139

91,314

1,427,495

 

 

_______

_______

_______

_______

 

 

 

 

At 30 September 2018

Level 1

£'000

Level 2

£'000

Level 3

£'000

Total

£'000

 

Equity investments

1,241,068

-

258

1,241,326

 

Investment properties

-

-

98,326

98,326

 

Contracts for difference

-

(1,743)

-

(1,743)

 

Foreign exchange forward contracts

-

 (781)

-

 (781)

 

 

_______

_______

_______

_______

 

 

1,241,068

(2,524)

98,584

1,337,128

 

 

 

 

_______

_______

_______

_______

 

 

At 31 March 2019

Level 1

£'000

Level 2

£'000

Level 3

£'000

Total

£'000

 

Equity investments

1,189,136

-

377

1,189,513

 

Investment properties

-

-

101,929

101,929

 

Contracts for difference

-

(3,210)

-

(3,210)

 

Foreign exchange forward contracts

-

1,969

-

1,969

 

 

_______

_______

_______

_______

 

 

1,189,136

(1,241)

102,306

1,290,201

 

 

 

_______

_______

_______

_______

 

Categorisation within the hierarchy has been determined on the basis of the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement of the relevant asset as follows:

 

Level 1 - valued using quoted prices in an active market for identical assets.

Level 2 - valued by reference to valuation techniques using observable inputs other than quoted prices within level 1.

Level 3 - valued by reference to valuation techniques using inputs that are not based on observable market data.

 

Contracts for Difference are synthetic equities and are valued by reference to the investments' underlying market values.

 

Valuations of Investment Properties - Level 3

The Group carries its investment properties at fair value in accordance with IFRS 13, revalued twice a year, with changes in fair values being recognised in the Group Statement of Comprehensive Income. The Group engaged Knight Frank LLP as independent valuation specialists to determine fair value as at 30 September 2019.

 

Determination of the fair value of investment properties has been prepared on the basis defined by the RICS Valuation Professional Standards, Global & UK Edition, January 2014 (The Red Book) as follows:

 

"The estimated amount for which an asset or liability should exchange on the valuation date between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm's length transaction after proper marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion."

 

The valuation takes into account future cash flow from assets (such as lettings, tenants' profiles, future revenue streams, capital values of fixtures and fittings, plant and machinery, any environmental matters and the overall repair and condition of the property) and discount rates applicable to those assets. These assumptions are based on local market conditions existing at the balance sheet date.

 

In arriving at their estimates of fair values as at 30 September 2019, the valuers have used their market knowledge and professional judgement and have not only relied solely on historical transactional comparables.

 

Reconciliation of movements in Financial assets categorised as level 3

 

 

At 30 September 2019                                  

31 March 2019

£'000

Purchases

£'000

Sales

£'000

Appreciation/

(Depreciation)

£'000

30 September 2019

£'000

 

Unlisted equity investments

377

-

-

-

377

 

 

_______

_______

_______

_______

_______

 

Investment properties

 

 

 

 

 

 

-     Mixed use

54,962

334

(749)

(867)

53,680

 

-     Office & Industrial

46,967

232

(10,284)

342

37,257

 

 

_______

_______

_______

_______

_______

 

 

101,929

566

(11,033)

(525)

90,937

 

 

_______

_______

_______

_______

_______

 

 

102,306

566

(11,033)

(525)

91,314

 

 

 

 

Transfers between hierarchy levels

There were no transfers between any levels during the period.

 

 

Sensitivity information

The significant unobservable inputs used in the fair value measurement categorised within Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy of investment properties are:

·      Estimated rental value: £5 - £50 per sq ft

·      Capitalisation rates: 3.20% - 6.50%

 

Significant increases (decreases) in estimated rental value and rent growth in isolation would result in a significantly higher (lower) fair value measurement. A significant increase (decrease) in capitalisation rates in isolation would result in a significantly lower (higher) fair value measurement.

 

Gains on investments held at fair value

 

 

 

 

 

Half year ended

30 September 2019

(Unaudited)

£'000

Half year ended

30 September

2018

(Unaudited)

£'000

Year ended

31 March

2019

(Audited)

£'000

 Gains on sale of investments

6,300

37,253

79,858

 Movement in investment holding gains

73,013

29,521

16,736

 

_______

_______

_______

Gains on investments held at fair value

79,313

66,774

96,594

 

_______

_______

_______

 

The Group received £92,995,000 (30 September 2018: £118,318,000) and (31 March 2019: £246,467,000) from investments sold in the period. The book cost of these investments when they were purchased was £86,695,000 (30 September 2018: £81,065,000) and (31 March 2019: £166,609,000). These investments have been revalued over time and until they were sold, any unrealised gains/losses were included in the fair value of the investments.

 

 

Loan Notes

On 10 February 2016, the Company issued 1.92% Unsecured Euro 50,000,000 Loan Notes and 3.59% Unsecured GBP 15,000,000 Loan Notes which are due to be redeemed at par on  10 February 2026 and 10 February 2031 respectively.

 

The fair value of the 1.92% Euro Loan Notes at 30 September 2019 was £44,429,000 (30 September 2018: £44,663,000) and (31 March 2019: £43,255,000).

 

The fair value of the 3.59% GBP Loan Notes at 30 September 2019 was £15,566,000 (30 September 2018: £15,154,000) and (31 March 2019: £15,373,000).

 

Using the IFRS 13 fair value hierarchy the Loan Notes are deemed to be categorised within Level 2.

 

The loan notes agreement requires compliance with a set of financial covenants, including:

·      Total Borrowings shall not exceed 33% of Adjusted Net Asset Value;

·      the Adjusted Total Assets shall at all times be equivalent to a minimum of 300% of Total Borrowings; and

·      the Adjusted NAV shall not be less than £260,000,000.

 

The Company and Group complied with the terms of the loan notes agreement throughout the year.

 

Multi-currency revolving loan facilities

The Group also has unsecured, multi-currency, revolving short-term loan facilities totalling £65,000,000 (30 September 2018: £65,000,000) and (31 March 2019: £65,000,000). At 30 September 2019, £57,000,000 was drawn on these facilities (30 September 2018: £nil) and (31 March 2019: £nil). The fair value is considered to approximate the carrying value and the interest is paid at a margin over LIBOR.

 

Subsequent to 30 September 2019 the Group has entered into a new loan agreement for a facility of £20,000,000.

 

7

Retained Earnings

 

 

Half year ended

30 September 2019

(Unaudited)

£'000

Half year ended

30 September

2018

(Unaudited)

£'000

Year ended

31 March

2019

(Audited)

£'000

 Investment holding gains

479,787

432,057

402,635

 Realised capital reserves

691,839

656,208

688,986

 

_______

_______

_______

 

1,171,626

1,088,265

1,091,621

Revenue reserve

74,480

68,795

70,162

 

_______

_______

_______

 

1,246,106

1,157,060

1,161,783

 

_______

_______

_______

 

 

 

8

Related Party Transactions

 

There have been no material related party transactions during the period and no changes to related parties.

 

During the period Thames River Capital charged management fees as detailed in Note 2.

 

The remuneration of the directors has been determined in accordance with rates outlined in the Directors' Remuneration Report in the Annual Financial Statements.

 

 

9

Comparative information

 

The financial information contained in this Half-Yearly Financial Report does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in section 435(1) of the Companies Act 2006. The financial information for the half year periods ended 30 September 2019 and 30 September 2018 has not been audited or reviewed by the Group auditors. The figures and financial information for the year ended 31 March 2019 are an extract from the latest published accounts and do not constitute statutory accounts for that year. Those accounts have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and include the report of the auditors, which was unqualified and did not contain a statement under either section 498(2) or 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006.

                                     

 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014). Upon the publication of this announcement via Regulatory Information Service this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

 

 

Disclaimer

 

The loan notes have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Act") and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Act. This notice is for information only, does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale of any securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

 

This announcement and the information contained herein is not for publication, distribution or release in, or into, directly or indirectly, the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan and does not constitute, or form part of, an offer of securities for sale in or into the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan.

 

The securities referred to in this announcement have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") and may not be offered or sold in the United States unless they are registered under the Securities Act or pursuant to an available exemption therefrom. The Company does not intend to register any portion of securities in the United States or to conduct a public offering of the securities in the United States.  The Company will not be registered under the U.S. Investment Companies Act of 1940, as amended, and investors will not be entitled to the benefits of that Act.

 

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of the securities referred to herein in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration, exemption from registration or qualification under the securities law of any such jurisdiction. 

 

The contents of this announcement include statements that are, or may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements". These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "believes", "estimates", "anticipates", "expects", "intends", "may", "will" or "should".  They include the statements regarding the target aggregate dividend.  By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. The Company's actual results and performance may differ materially from the impression created by the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, except as may be required by applicable law and regulation (including the Listing Rules). No statement in this announcement is intended to be a profit forecast.

 

For further information please contact:

 

Marcus Phayre-Mudge

Fund Manager

TR Property Investment Trust plc

Telephone: 020 7011 4711

 

Jo Elliott

Finance Manager and Investor Relations

TR Property Investment Trust plc

Telephone: 020 7011 4710

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.
 
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