Regulatory Story
Go to market news section View chart   Print
RNS
U and I Group PLC   -  UAI   

Results for the 13-months ended 31 March 2019

Released 07:00 22-May-2019

RNS Number : 7632Z
U and I Group PLC
22 May 2019
 

U and I Group PLC

("U+I" or "the Company" or "the Group")

 

Results for the 13-months ended 31 March 2019

 

Strengthened short and long-term pipeline, giving good future visibility

 

Development and trading gains of £42.8 million; ongoing investment portfolio transition

·      £42.8 million of development and trading gains delivered (2018: £68.3 million) during prolonged political and economic uncertainty in the financial period

·      Further progress with investment portfolio strategy, with increasing focus on regeneration assets from our development portfolio to align with wider business strategy. Secured £27.4 million of acquisitions and £7.5 million of disposals; investment portfolio total return of -1% (2018: 10.1%), reflecting a significant decline in values in the retail sector

 

Grew pipeline from >£7 billion to >£11 billion across core geographies

·      Won major new PPP scheme at Cambridge Northern Fringe East in London City Region*, strengthening our credentials in the Cambridge/Oxford corridor

·      Secured three new trading opportunities across London City Region and Dublin; targeting gains in FY2020 and in later years

·      Ongoing progress on two potential partnership projects with a Gross Development Value of c.£2.0 billion, with outcome expected in H1 2020

 

Board and operational changes to support delivery of financial performance

·      £2.5 million reduction in annualised net recurring overheads in FY2019

·      Appointment of Professor Sadie Morgan as independent Non-executive Director to drive accountability for delivering on our PPP commitments and to oversee the establishment of a new workforce advisory panel

·      Richard Upton's title changes from Deputy CEO to Chief Development Officer to more accurately reflect his role in the origination and delivery of major PPP projects

 

Fifth successive supplemental dividend; positive outlook for sustainable shareholder returns

·      Total dividends of 10.0 pence per share (2018: 17.9 pence per share)

·      Includes interim dividend of 2.4 pence per share (2018: 2.4 pence per share), a final dividend of 3.5 pence per share (2018: 3.5 pence per share) and a supplemental dividend of 4.1 pence per share (2018: 12.0 pence per share)

·      FY2020 development and trading target prudently revised to £35-45 million from £45-55 million, in light of economic and political uncertainty delaying project timing. FY2021 target increased from £35-45 million to £45-55 million.  Investment portfolio target total return retained at 10% per annum

·      Longer-term target of £50 million of development and trading gains per annum remains

* Within one hour's commute from London

 

 

Matthew Weiner, Chief Executive, said:

"We delivered a resilient performance in the financial period, most notably £42.8 million of development and trading gains, against our £45-50 million target. We have strengthened our short and long-term pipeline, giving us good future visibility and a positive outlook for shareholder returns.  We have a clear and focused strategy and the fundamentals that underpin it remain relevant, as we are aligned with political and social trends, where demand for homes, offices, and mixed-use spaces is growing and is a major priority for Government and local authorities.  

 

Whilst the last thirteen months have seen economic and political uncertainty in the UK, which has affected decision-making and timing on some of our projects, these uncertainties have also opened up new opportunities to expand our portfolio.  Being selected for Cambridge Northern Fringe East further strengthens our PPP pipeline and reinforces our significant credentials in partnership regeneration in the London City Region. Along with our other core geographies of Dublin and Manchester, this market shares the characteristics we believe foster long-term growth and prosperity; talent, tourism, transport and tolerance.  We have also strengthened our short-term pipeline with three new trading opportunities. We continue to make progress with our investment portfolio, with three acquisitions in the period and a further disposal of a non-core asset. Combined these will help to support improved medium-term performance.

 

A major focus over the coming year is on delivering our existing development and trading projects, as well as driving through the investment portfolio strategy. We believe that we have the right approach, pipeline and team to deliver sustainable returns for our shareholders and we are focused on doing just that."   

 

Financial summary:

 

31 Mar 2019

28 Feb 2018

Development and trading gains

£42.8m

£68.3m

Profit before tax

£6.3m

£48.2m

Basic net asset value (NAV)

£360.1m

£379.3m

Basic NAV per share

289p

303p

Basic earnings per share

4.2p

32.2p

Total declared dividends per share including supplemental dividend

10.0p

17.9p

Net debt

£139.0m

£119.1m

Gearing

38.6%

31.4%

 

Change of year end

Figures throughout the report and accounts represent thirteen months (1 March 2018 -31 March 2019) due to a change in year end from 28 February to align with our market peers.  Our current financial period runs from 1 April 2019 -31 March 2020.

 

Conference call for analysts and investors

The management team will present to equity analysts and investors today at 10.30am at U+I's offices at 7A Howick Place, London, SW1P 1DZ.  The live audio webcast and presentation materials can be accessed via the following link: http://webcasting.brrmedia.co.uk/broadcast/5c9ba46cec650d01c34f4b74 with conference call details as below.  A recording of the conference call and archive version will be made available later today.

 

 

Conference Call details:

 

 

United Kingdom

0330 336 9411

 

All other locations

+44 (0)330 336 9411

 

Joining your call:

Participant Password:

3313162

 

Forthcoming announcement dates

The Company intends to hold its Annual General Meeting on 4 September 2019.

 

For further information, please contact:

U and I Group PLC

Camarco (Financial PR adviser)

 

 

This announcement contains inside information as defined in Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation No. 596/2014 and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of those Regulations.

 

 

CEO statement

 

U+I has delivered a robust performance in the financial period (to 31 March 2019), including £42.8 million of development and trading gains, against a very challenging backdrop. Our profit before tax was £6.3 million (2018: £48.2 million), and our basic net asset value is down 5.3% to 289 pence per share (2018: 303 pence per share), after the payment of £22.4 million of dividends (17.9 pence per share) during the period. Including joint venture assets, our investment portfolio delivered -1% total return (2018: 10.1%), as we suffered a 4.9% capital value decline. Post tax total return was 0.9% (2018: 12.2%), primarily reflecting the reduction in value of the investment portfolio.

 

These results show our resilience against an uncompromising market backdrop and a year marked by growing political, planning and economic uncertainty, without which we believe gains would have been in excess of our upper £50 million target.  Over the last four years, we have delivered average gains of c.£50 million per annum, in line with our medium-term target.

 

Our markets

The medium-term economic fundamentals in the UK remain sound, if unspectacular, with consumers' real incomes increasing and companies having money to invest, albeit showing reluctance to do so. The real estate cycle has numerous long-term supportive forces at play, most notably in terms of the supply of new accommodation, which has been comparatively disciplined.  Interest rates globally remain anchored at low levels and, with limited debt exposure, the market can stay relatively protected against a slowdown.  At the same time, we are seeing the redefinition of space, in terms of usage and ownership. Increasingly property is seen as a service; a provision to be subscribed to rather than owned outright. 

 

This has widespread consequences. In the retail environment, it has led to a much faster degree of obsolescence. In the office environment, businesses need to occupy inspiring spaces or else talent is not interested in working for them. In residential, people are searching for spaces where they can feel truly at home, but with pressure on disposable income, affordability and convenience are prioritised over postcode.

 

As an industry, we need to provide those places and we need to do this by creating multi-use spaces that suit an increasingly "co-everything" world. Political, economic and social demand for the type of mixed-use developments that we deliver will continue. 

 

These are the challenges but they are also opportunities for U+I.

 

Our opportunity

We are a specialist developer and investor with a substantial pipeline of complex mixed-use regeneration schemes. We seek to transform overlooked parts of towns and cities, through a mix of commercial and residential real estate uses, revitalising communities.  We unlock the potential of land and assets - mainly in the densely populated areas of London City Region, Manchester and Dublin - to create value.

 

Our blend of large Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, shorter-term entrepreneurial trading activity and recurring revenue from our investment portfolio - all centred on mixed-use regeneration - give our portfolio a clear focus and generate multiple income streams to help to mitigate risk. Our deep relationships with local stakeholders help us to identify suitable sites and better understand potential risks so we can facilitate planning and delivery.

 

The scale of our projects, our vision to see the potential in complex sites where others don't, our partnership approach with the public and private sector and our ability to secure funding for our PPP schemes create barriers to entry for others, and give us a competitive advantage.

 

Public Private Partnerships - strengthening our portfolio

We are making further progress on our stated strategic objective to develop a pipeline of fewer, larger projects with public and private partners in our three core geographies.

 

In July 2018 Cambridge City Council and Anglian Water appointed us as master developer to deliver a major residential-led mixed-use scheme - named Cambridge Northern Fringe East (CNFE) - on an existing water recycling site, to help address the significant shortfall in homes and amenities in this region. The scheme secured £227 million in funding from Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund in March 2019 to relocate Anglian Water's existing water recycling centre and release the core 120-acre brownfield site. Having met this key milestone, the project is now progressing at pace.  It will deliver c.£20-30 million of development and trading gains for U+I over its c.15 year lifespan, with our first profits expected in FY2023.   These gains could increase should we bid for and be selected to deliver any elements of this project ourselves.

 

We remain in exclusive negotiations for a new PPP project in the London City Region and are also still on the shortlist for a major partnership opportunity in Dublin, and expect a decision on both in H1 2020.  Combined they have a Gross Development Value of circa £2.0 billion.

 

In August 2018, we were also appointed to the Greater London Authority's (GLA's) London Development Panel which will bring forward up to £20 billion worth of development land over the next four years. This opens up new opportunities and supports our position on TfL's Property Partnership Framework, a position we have held since 2016.

 

PPP is an integral part of our business and support for it was reinforced by Government in the November 2018 Budget.  Yet it is often misunderstood as a mechanism for change and faces some reputational challenges. In the financial period we undertook an extensive research, consultation and listening programme with the public, private and civic sectors in an effort to understand these challenges, establish a blueprint to address them and drive new industry standards.  We published our findings in our PPP - The Reset report in November 2018, whilst also making a number of specific commitments which will enhance and improve our approach to PPP.  Most notably, we will establish a Community Challenge Panel which will be overseen by our recently appointed independent Non-executive Director, Professor Sadie Morgan, to hold ourselves to account on our commitments. The process to appoint the Panel is underway.

 

Development and trading - steady progress in a difficult market

Public Private Partnerships are an essential part of our business and these projects tend to be large, long-term and equity light as the public or private sector seeds the partnership with land. In contrast, and crucially as a counterbalance to these large, long-term projects, our trading portfolio is shorter-term in nature. We buy land and add value through enhanced planning consents and/or asset management, leveraging our experience in mixed-use regeneration and local authority relationships that we have nurtured and developed over the last 25+ years.

 

Having achieved development and trading gains of £12.8 million in the first half, we added another £30.0 million in the second half, totalling £42.8 million for the financial period and reflecting our typical second half weighting.  However, some projects were delayed - including Kensington Church Street and Rhoscrowther Wind Farm, both of which we now expect to monetise in FY2020. Some, like Hendy Wind Farm, we took a different approach to benefit shareholders, whilst others exceeded expectations.  A full breakdown of the projects that underpinned this financial period's gains is provided in the Portfolio Review. It demonstrates the diversity and flexibility we have within our portfolio.

 

Preston Barracks in Brighton has been a particular highlight for us this financial period as we achieved gains of £13.8 million, significantly ahead of our £2-3 million target. This was mainly achieved, through the sale of the residential component to Optivo, one of the largest housing providers in the UK, and some additional planning overage gains from our partnership with Scape Student Living.  Optivo recognised the quality of the proposed scheme and, as experts in affordable housing, they are perfectly qualified to deliver this part of our wider £200 million GDV mixed-use development, that will provide over £280 million of economic benefit for the City of Brighton over the next ten years.   

 

Harwell continues to evolve into a key project for us. This world-class, Government-backed science, technology and innovation campus, where we have worked since 2014, delivered £4.8 million of development and trading gains in the financial period.  This follows the completion of two pre-let developments and the sale of a significant piece of land to an existing occupier.  In the last five years we have delivered and leased 350,000 sq.ft. of space on the campus. In March 2019, our joint venture partnership secured £110 million of funding from Santander, committing further resources to the next stage of development, which in the next two years will deliver over 200,000 sq.ft. of high-tech industrial, laboratory and office accommodation. 

 

With Harwell and CNFE, we now have two major PPP schemes in the Cambridge/Oxford corridor.  In line with Government, which is investing heavily in these locations, we too see this growth corridor as a focus for innovation and talent, and we are committed to continuing to grow our presence here.

 

During the financial period we secured planning permission and commenced construction works at Hendy Wind Farm. We also entered discussions to sell the project at a level that would have delivered our forecast gain. However, as we moved to close, we did not feel the terms and price reflected the ultimate quality of the scheme.  Therefore, as with Bryn Blaen last year, we felt it was prudent to delay as we believe we can get a better return for shareholders if we sell in FY2020 when the project works have been completed.

 

In the second half of the financial period we achieved practical completion at St Mark's Square in Bromley. There is a good level of buyer interest in the completed residential units and the leisure element is open and trading well. However, due to construction delays in the second half of the year, we have incurred increased professional fees as well as higher interest charges as sale receipts were delayed, leading to a provision of £1.5 million. We are in the process of settling the final account with the contractor and expect to resolve the situation during FY2020.

 

During the financial period we have focused on building our shorter-term pipeline to support our larger, longer-term PPP projects.  At the start of the financial period we revised the structure and focus of our acquisitions team towards trading and this has delivered three new trading opportunities. All in our core geographies, the Arts Building in Finsbury Park, Newtown Works in Ashford and White Heather Industrial Estate in Dublin are a further demonstration of our ability to source exciting opportunities.  We expect them to generate strong gains for the business over the next one to three years, giving us improved short-term pipeline visibility.

 

Investment portfolio - the regeneration opportunity

At the year end, the investment portfolio was valued at £154.0 million (2018: £139.5 million).  Over the 13-month period we made £27.4 million of acquisitions and £7.5 million of disposals. The core portfolio initial yield of 6.6% remained robust, confirming the work we have done on income sustainability. However, we suffered a capital value decline of 4.9% (including our share of joint ventures) as market sentiment outweighed asset fundamentals, especially for retail property outside London and the South East. Including joint venture assets, we delivered a total return of -1% which takes into account capital value movements and income return. Our activity levels were below the £50 million acquisitions and £25 million disposals targets we set ourselves for this financial period but we believe it is essential, particularly in the current environment, to remain disciplined and buy and sell the right assets at the right price. 

 

We remain encouraged by the high levels of occupancy across our portfolio (>90%), largely unchanged rental values and low voids (7.3%), evidence that smart buying and active management can deliver income led results, even when the investment market is challenging overall.  With such a strong convenience focus (38.1% of portfolio), no department stores and only 13.6% exposure to fashion/footwear, our portfolio has the fundamentals to deliver. Retail failures from CVAs and administrations continue to have only a small impact, representing 2.4% of rental income. Of this, the net impact to income was only £75,000 or 0.6% of rent roll. We also have limited exposure to any one single tenant, with our largest - Matalan - making up less than 5.0% of total income.

 

The UK property market is uncertain, with liquidity weakening, mainly due to the nervousness triggered by delays in decision-making at Government level.  We believe that retail assets are being indiscriminately valued rather than being assessed on fundamentals. This creates clear challenges for us as vendors and asset managers but also provides opportunities as buyers.

 

To that end, we have remained cautiously active in recent months, using this market uncertainty to make three attractive acquisitions: St Peter's Quarter in Bournemouth, Waterglade Retail Park in Clacton-on-Sea and a Pure Gym unit in Finchley.  Each of these assets is well-suited to the local catchment, has the potential for us to add further value through asset management initiatives and should deliver the double-digit returns we look for.

 

Our portfolio is primarily in the retail sector, where shopper missions are polarising along the lines of destination/experience orientated visits or service/convenience.  Our focus remains on convenience-led schemes which are aligned to their local catchment and play a vital role within the community. Here demand remains robust and there is a certain degree of insulation against the ongoing shift to internet shopping and changes in consumer behaviour.

 

Over time, we believe the industry will need to reconsider what 'prime retail' really means. Ultimately, the most attractive retail assets are those that provide a sustainable income by offering the right experience to the consumer and the right price for the occupier. These are the assets that we pursue, not 'prime' in the conventional sense but fit for purpose, resilient and delivering sustainable income and capital appreciation.

 

Having delivered our target return in FY2018, we have been disappointed by the performance of the investment portfolio over the 13-month period. We acknowledge that our approach has not delivered consistently over the last three years. We have previously spoken of the potential to retain elements of our development portfolio and benefit from the opportunity to realise further value as those schemes mature.  As our development portfolio has grown in size, so this potential is now a reality and will allow us to benefit from the world-class schemes which we have created and of which we have a deep understanding. Most importantly, this reinforces the business's focus on regeneration, whilst also driving higher returns to shareholders, such that over a three to five-year period we expect to see investment portfolio returns closer to our overall target return.

 

Initially we have identified potential assets worth up to £250 million from our development pipeline which would meet our investment portfolio criteria. This means that by 2024 the investment portfolio should primarily be comprised of assets created from our development portfolio or assets held for their longer-term development potential.  We know that we can achieve our targets and recapture previous levels of performance. 

 

Capital initiatives to enhance delivery

In order to advance some of our bigger schemes, we have held a number of meetings with potential capital partners from around the world to invest, initially, in up to three of our major PPP projects. We have been encouraged by the level of engagement and interest in our projects from a range of private and institutional capital from across the globe, albeit UK political uncertainty has meant that progress has been slower than we would like, with capital showing some reticence to invest.  However, empathy with   the UK remains and potential capital partners have been attracted by both the quality of the projects and their locations within our gateway cities.  We are in the process of shortlisting potential partners, whom we think are the best fit, see the potential of these assets and share our vision for our major projects.  We are targeting concluding the process in 2020 and will give a further update on progress at our interim results in November 2019.  Securing funding allows us to advance our projects cost-efficiently, ensures timely delivery of our projects in conjunction with our public sector partners and means we can rotate capital into new schemes.

 

Efficiencies programme underway

We remain focused on maintaining capital discipline and a strong balance sheet. As reported in our interim results, we have put in place an efficiencies programme to ensure that we continue to manage our recurring overheads as effectively as possible, given our prospective pipeline of projects. This is being led by a Chief Operating Officer who was appointed in January 2018 on an interim basis to undertake a review of all areas of the business and identify and implement cost savings.  Annualised net recurring overheads in the financial period were £17.8 million (2018: £20.3 million). 

 

Currently we employ certain specialist development related expertise internally, such as project management and marketing, rather than using external specialists. We do this as it gives us more immediate control over certain aspects of our projects.  Historically we have viewed this as a central cost/overhead expense.  In order to more closely align ourselves with and be more comparable to our peer group, we are now adopting the industry-wide practice of capitalising that expenditure where appropriate rather than treating it as a corporate overhead. This has led to capitalisation of £2.5 million in FY2019, which is expected to be the level for future years. 

 

To further increase efficiencies, over the financial period, we have undertaken an internal review of each part of the business, which has led to us realigning teams and improving some of our processes so we now believe we have the right team size, structure and skillset, relevant to the scale, value and stage of each project. As we conclude our existing smaller and legacy projects and continue to focus on fewer, larger projects, productivity will increase and support more efficient delivery. Furthermore, as we move into the delivery phase of our pipeline, we will increase the opportunity to earn additional Development Management Fees to offset our overhead.  Development Management Fees generated in FY2019 were £2.5 million, a figure which we expect to increase annually over the next five years, with £3.0 million targeted in FY2020.

 

Dividend - aligning shareholders with our performance

In line with our dividend policy we paid an ordinary dividend of 5.9 pence per share - comprising an interim dividend of 2.4 pence per share paid on 30 November 2018 and a recommended final dividend payment of 3.5 pence per share to be paid to shareholders on 6 September 2019.

 

As part of our dividend policy we also pay a supplemental dividend related to the net free cash flow generated during the financial period. Given the strength of our net cash position, we are pleased to recommend a supplemental dividend of 4.1 pence per share (2018: 12.0 pence per share).

 

This will be the fifth successive supplemental dividend paid to shareholders, evidence of our ability to generate strong and sustained surplus cash flows from our development and trading activities, as well as our commitment to aligning our shareholders with the success of the business.

 

We constantly monitor the method by which capital is returned to our investors and the Board will review this again over the course of the coming year.

 

Innovation to unlock potential and drive growth

Mixed-use regeneration is about breathing new life into neglected or underestimated places and we believe that innovation is an integral part of that process.

 

Having re-established the Central Research Laboratory at The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes as the UK's first full-service accelerator for hardware entrepreneurs, we have taken this proof of concept and committed £3 million to develop an innovation hub proposition we call Plus X.  This brings together public and private sector capital to promote innovation, enhance job creation and give fledgling businesses and SMEs room to grow, while simultaneously driving demand for commercial space and delivering distinctive places.  The first Plus X will open at Preston Barracks in Brighton in early 2020 and we have also submitted planning for a revised facility at The Old Vinyl Factory.  This is just the start, as we plan to develop further Plus X holdings at other major regeneration projects. This concept delivers substantial wash over of value to our wider regeneration activity and we believe it is the first of its kind in our industry.  In time, we expect Plus X to create additional value for U+I through securing further PPP opportunities such as Preston Barracks, whilst becoming a potentially valuable and scalable business in its own right.

 

During the financial period, we also made a deliberate move to explore innovation in property technology that has a direct benefit to delivering better outcomes for our projects. Having been early adopters of their product, in October 2018 we made a small investment into WiredScore, the market leader in certifying building technology. As users, we believe there is tremendous growth potential for the technology, not just in commercial property, but increasingly in residential where connectivity and quality of infrastructure are of growing importance. Since the period end, we have also invested in Matterport, the 3D virtual reality modelling experts for the real estate sector. In our role as strategic advisor to these two businesses, we can share expertise, whilst getting an opportunity to see first-hand some of the new cutting-edge technologies that could inform our future approach to our schemes and help us to keep innovating. Given the speed at which the world is moving, we will continue to seek out relevant new innovations to invest in, where we can harness technology to get insights that will support our decisions and allow us to stay ahead of new trends, to deliver great places that meet people's needs, not just now, but for the future.

 

Strengthening the team

In recent years, U+I has evolved from a newly-formed business into a recognised brand with a portfolio of landmark regeneration assets across the London City Region, Manchester and Dublin.

 

That transition would not have been possible without our people, the backbone of our business and the inspiration for everything we do. Whilst our land bank can provide the raw material from which we can generate returns, it is our team that will realise this potential.  In this vein, we need to do more and prove that we can execute, as well as originate. That involves ensuring that we have the right talent and structure to deliver on our KPIs and develop as a business.

 

To that end, from 22 May 2019, Richard Upton becomes Chief Development Officer. The Board has long felt that the Deputy CEO title did not fully reflect Richard's role.  His ability to develop and realise a compelling vision, to build the necessary trust and relationships across stakeholder groups, and find solutions that benefit everyone are essential to our business. His job content will not change but this new title better indicates his focus, where he has accountability and responsibility for the origination of new opportunities, exploiting the potential within our increased pipeline and execution of our major PPP projects, including Mayfield in Manchester and 8 Albert Embankment in London.

 

We are also pleased to announce that Professor Sadie Morgan, founding director of architects' practice dRMM, has joined the Board as an independent Non-executive Director with effect from 3 April 2019. A Stirling prize-winner, a commissioner on the National Infrastructure Commission and chair of the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two, Professor Morgan brings with her a wealth of knowledge and a genuine commitment to PPP as a source of long-term regeneration.  As well as chairing our Community Challenge Panel to hold us to account on our PPP commitments set out in PPP - The Reset, Professor Morgan will oversee the establishment of a workforce advisory panel, acting as a conduit between the Board and our people to support employee engagement and ensure we are sustaining an inspiring culture relevant to our vision. 

 

Outlook - delivering sustainable long-term returns for shareholders

U+I sits at the heart of major trends. We are regeneration specialists with the experience, understanding and creative talent to turn underestimated and overlooked sites into vibrant, mixed-use places that enhance productivity, drive economic growth and contribute constructively to communities.

 

The raw material is there - neglected public sector land in our chosen geographies - with the public sector increasingly under pressure to deliver greater productivity from its real estate. The need has never been greater, people want to live in better homes, work in better places and lead better lives. We have the skillset and the relationships to enable and support central and local government to meet its targets, whilst addressing the shortfall in quality mixed-use spaces that will benefit local communities.  That is our focus and we are confident that we can deliver over the long-term.

 

The short-term will be more challenging, as markets face political and economic uncertainty.  The Brexit delay spells another six months of uncertainty and will keep investment and hiring decisions on hold. This has had a direct bearing on our FY2019 results and has meant that we have revised our development and trading gains target for FY2020 from £45-55 million to £35-45 million and our FY2021 target from £35-45 million to £45-55 million.  We have reviewed our pipeline as a whole and, although we have moved Kensington Church Street, Hendy Wind Farm and Rhoscrowther Wind Farm into FY2020, this lowering of our target and retaining this larger guidance range reflects the market we currently operate in, where we expect wider factors - in particular the fallout from the political crisis at both central and local government levels - to delay decision-making and, in turn, the delivery of some of our gains.

 

Of course, within this increasingly complex political and planning environment there is opportunity for a business such as ours that treats community engagement as central to delivering schemes that can heal the divides that are blighting our cities. There is a need for knowledge and expertise to find opportunities amid the uncertainty.

 

We remain a total return business and are committed to our longer-term target of 12% average post tax total return and 10% average investment portfolio total return, and believe we have the right strategy and team to achieve these over time.

 

In the year ahead, we will focus on securing planning consents and delivering our development projects, while remaining alert to shorter-term trading or new investment opportunities where they align with our regeneration focus, as well as possible new PPP opportunities in our three core regions.

 

Our efficiencies programme enhances our ability to deliver value for shareholders for the long-term. Our funding partnerships are part of this programme, enabling us to drive returns, while delivering on our commitments.

 

I want to thank the team for their hard work and contribution over the last 13 months.  Against an exceptionally difficult backdrop, our people have continued to demonstrate the curiosity, passion and commitment that helps us to secure flagship projects and deliver on our key purpose 'to unlock long-term value for all through regeneration'.

 

Notwithstanding market conditions, we have strengthened our short and long-term pipeline, giving good future visibility. I am enthusiastic about our ability to deliver our projects and create a successful, motivated and inspirational company.

 

Matthew Weiner

Chief Executive Officer

22 May 2019

 

 

Portfolio Review

 

The U+I portfolio comprises a balance of longer-term PPP projects, shorter-term trading opportunities and investment assets. These three elements combine to maximise value creation, providing multiple routes to market, diversifying our earnings stream and mitigating risk through the economic cycle.

 

There is a strong connected theme running through our schemes. They are focused on regeneration; they are focused on our core geographies of London City Region, Manchester and Dublin; and they are expected to benefit from what we believe to be the four key drivers of economic growth - talent, tourism, transport and tolerance.

 

Importantly too, each element benefits from the others, to create a unified business, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

 

Development and trading

·      Development: large-scale, mixed-use regeneration projects that are designed to deliver significant value over time. Often structured as Public Private Partnerships, these comprise 31% of gross assets and deliver multi-year profit flows.

·      Trading: shorter-term trading opportunities where we buy land and add value through enhanced planning consents and/or asset management. These comprise 39% of gross assets and deliver profit flows over one to three years.

 

Investment: assets that provide recurring income, the proceeds of which support our development and trading activities. These assets also offer optionality for asset management or change of use to drive incremental value. They comprise 30% of gross assets.

 

We use our values of imagination, intelligence and audacity to bring vision and verve to our business and our projects. We have always thought of the communities who will populate the places we create. With this in mind we have increasingly recognised that the generations of today are more interested in affordability and convenience than postcode.  This understanding - combined with hard work and an increasingly talented team - have helped us to gain the trust of stakeholders in both the public and private sector, and thereby win landmark projects. These will become the core assets of the future and we intend to deliver them with our capital partners.

 

Development and trading

During the financial period, we delivered £42.8 million of development and trading gains. A summary of our realised gains and losses in FY2019 can be found below:

 

Project name

Value trigger

Previous target

Realised gains

Bicester (Mixed-Use Scheme A), London City Region

Completed disposal of this retail-led, mixed-use scheme, conveniently located opposite Bicester Village, to Value Retail.

£3-5m

£4.0m

Bryn Blaen Wind Farm, Wales*

Completed disposal in March 2019. Gain is slightly below our target due to increased costs in connecting the site to the grid.

£6-8m

£4.7m

Charlton Riverside, London*

Completed sale in H1 to Hyde Group. This was the final disposal of the site we assembled in Charlton Riverside and was held in joint venture with Proprium Capital Partners.

£2-4m

£3.3m

Harwell, Oxford*

Sale of a plot of land to facilitate an existing occupier's expansion on site and completion of two pre-let developments totalling 65,000 sq.ft.

£4-6m

£4.8m

Kensington Church Street, London*

The scheme was approved by the Mayor of London in September 2018. However, in March 2019, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government called in the scheme leading to an inquiry in November 2019. This delay restricted our ability to deliver gains this financial period. We, alongside our joint venture partners, continue to seek a timely outcome and are targeting realising gains in FY2020 - either through development of the site or refinancing of the site post planning. However, this is dependent on the timing of the decision by Government post the inquiry.  We have slightly reduced our forecasts for FY2020 to reflect the delay.

£5-7m

£0.0m

Curzon Park, Birmingham*

£4-7m

£9.3m

Preston Barracks, Brighton

Disposal of the residential element of the site to affordable housing provider, Optivo and further gains from planning overage from our partnership with Scape Student Living. This project highlights the potential for successful PPP schemes. The gains exceeded expectations, largely reflecting the quality of the site.

£2-3m

£13.8m

Wind Farm Projects - Hendy and Rhoscrowther

Planning for Hendy was secured on 30 October 2018 but we made a strategic decision not to sell the project during the year in the strong belief that we could realise more value by delivering a built out site. We expect to exchange on a sale in H2 2020 which should deliver £4-6 million gains. As announced at our interim results, planning consent was delayed at Rhoscrowther, meaning we missed the subsidy window. We now expect to deliver lower than previously expected gains in FY2020 through delivery of a non-subsidised scheme. A planning application will be submitted shortly.

£10-12m

£0.0m

Other (8 projects)

Various smaller projects, contributing less than £3.0 million apiece. These include completion of the final units at Ilford, delivering £1.6 million; development profit from the student accommodation at Circus Street, Brighton for £1.8 million, and the sale of the Assembly Buildings and Veneer Building at The Old Vinyl Factory, Hayes.  It also includes a provision of £1.5 million at St Mark's Square in Bromley where we incurred increased professional fees and interest charges as receipts were delayed due to construction delays.

£9-12m

£2.9m

 

* Held in joint venture

 

 

New trading opportunities

We have continued to grow our trading pipeline with three new opportunities that are expected to generate strong gains for the business.

 

·      Arts Building, London City Region: in January 2019, we acquired the Arts Building in Finsbury Park, a c.50,000 sq.ft., five-floor warehouse-style building. The transaction was completed off-market, highlighting the strength of our network and our ability to move quickly when necessary. Located less than 10 minutes from Central London, we will refurbish the offices and convert the ground floor warehouse space into offices and re-let. It is our intention to revalue or sell, generating gains in FY2020.

 

·      Newtown Works, London City Region: in December 2018, we completed a funding deal with Quinn Estates to acquire Newtown Works, a 12-acre brownfield site in Ashford. This is our fourth transaction in the town, underlining the trusted relationship that we have developed with local stakeholders, including Ashford Borough Council. Work is already underway to transform the site into a dynamic mixed-use scheme, likely to begin generating profits from FY2020.

 

·      White Heather Industrial Estate, Dublin: in December 2018, we acquired the White Heather Industrial Estate in Dublin as a medium-term trading opportunity. This builds on our previous strategy of identifying industrial land with potential for residential-led mixed-use regeneration.

 

Outlook for FY2020

We have reviewed our portfolio for the coming financial period, including the addition of Kensington Church Street, Hendy Wind Farm and Rhoscrowther Wind Farm that have moved across from FY2019.  Based on our current pipeline, we are targeting development and trading gains of £35-45 million in FY2020 (revised down from £45-55 million) and £45-55 million in FY2021 (revised up from £35-45 million).  The projects listed below are expected to make up this target but, as always, these can change and we have the ability to flex this mix of projects where appropriate. 

 

We have a strong pipeline of short and long-term projects and are focused in the year ahead on delivery across these.  This includes securing planning consents at 8 Albert Embankment and Landmark Court - two of our major PPP projects in London City Region which we submitted for planning in March 2019 - whilst also securing planning for the first phase of our £1.1 billion mixed-use regeneration project at Mayfield, Manchester, for a 6.5 acre park, office and parking space.

 

As well as driving value from our existing portfolio, in line with our strategic aim of growing our portfolio with high-quality projects, we will continue to seek out opportunities that meet our regeneration focus, where we can broaden our shorter-term trading pipeline and complement our longer-term PPP pipeline across London City Region, Manchester and Dublin.

 

Projects expected to deliver FY2020 gains:

Project name

Value trigger

Targeted gains

Arts Building, London

Completion of works, letting and subsequent sale.

£8-10m

Kensington Church Street, London*

Surplus arising from either development of the site or refinancing of the site post planning.

£4-6m

Hendy Wind Farm, Wales

Completion of construction and sale. 

£4-6m

Rhoscrowther Wind Farm, Wales

Planning and sale. 

£1-3m

Other

Various smaller projects individually contributing <£3.0 million.

£13-15m

 

* Held in joint venture

 

 

Investment portfolio

During FY2019, we completed £27.4 million acquisitions, £7.5 million disposals and £4.6 million asset management initiatives, as outlined below. Our target for FY2020 is to deliver c.10% total return, albeit delivery of this could be challenging in current markets.

 

Project name

Overview

Valuation

Disposals

 

 

Killingworth Centre, Newcastle

In line with our focus on three core geographies, we identified Killingworth as a strategic disposal in 2018. In FY2019, to reduce our risk, we sold off the Mall element where we felt income was not sustainable. We have retained the long-term income from Matalan and Home Bargains units, yielding >8.5%. 

Mall element sold for £7.5 million; yield of 9.4%

 

 

Acquisitions

 

 

St Peter's Quarter, Bournemouth

Bournemouth is largely populated by students and older, affluent retirees. St Peter's Quarter, a 98,000 sq.ft. mixed-use scheme, fits neatly into this demographic. Comprising student accommodation, leisure and retail, the asset is generating a strong income return and there is significant potential for further growth/asset management. In recent months, we have let additional space in the basement and benefitted from break clauses not being exercised due to strong trade. We believe it will achieve a >10% total return, with 56% of the rent subject to fixed or RPI uplifts.

Acquired for £11.3 million

Waterglade Retail Park, Clacton on Sea

A convenience site occupied by four tenants (B&M, Halfords, Iceland and Carpetright), this acquisition exemplifies our understanding of the retail market and the niche opportunities it presents. All four tenants are well-suited to the local catchment, the investment generates an initial yield of 9.3%, with the opportunity to deliver double-digit returns through asset management and lease re-structuring. Since financial period end, we have re-geared the B&M lease, extending the term by 8 years and generating a c.£600K capital uplift.

Acquired for £11.3 million

Pure Gym Unit, Finchley

This leasehold asset was acquired off-market. Located on an acre of land, the transaction builds on our relationship with the London Borough of Barnet and meets our investment criteria as an income-generating asset with longer-term regeneration potential.  It offers a net initial yield of 5.9%, expected to rise to over 7.0% at rent review in 2021. The residual value with planning for residential uses and vacant possession would be materially higher than current investment value.

Acquired for £4.8 million

Transferred from our development portfolio into our investment portfolio on practical completion, demonstrating how we can nurture quality assets where we see longer-term potential. Units were pre-let.

Asset management initiatives

 

Harwell, Oxford

The campus environment is improving, as we build new accommodation and the campus continues to attract top talent. This will drive rental growth by the creation of new headline rents.   During the financial period, we also restructured the lease at the adjacent Gemini building, increasing the value of the asset by £2.0 million. We also completed an outstanding rent review on the Element Six building, securing an uplift in value of £3.5 million; our share being £0.9 million.

 

 

 

 

Key statistics

 

31 Mar 2019

28 Feb 2018

Portfolio value

£154.0m

£139.5m

Valuation change

£(11.2)m

£(2.4)m

Number of assets held

19

16

Value of disposals

£(7.5)m

£(53.2)m

Initial yield in the period

6.6%

6.2%

Equivalent yield

7.9%

8.3%

Contracted rental value

£11.7m

£8.9m

Estimated rental value

£13.1m

£10.7m

Voids

7.3%

7.9%

 

 

Specialist platforms

Our specialist platforms, focused on office refurbishments and income-generating strategic land in the London City Region and Dublin, combine our skills and experience with the balance sheet strength of our joint venture partners, Colony Capital and Proprium Capital Partners.  More details of our five projects across the two platforms can be found below. 

 

Project Name

Overview

FY2020 target

 

Colony Capital

 

 

Donnybrook House,

Dublin

 

We completed the refurbishment of Donnybrook House, increasing the net lettable space by 37% and launched this landmark six-level office development in October 2018. Since the end of the financial period, we have let the gym in the basement and discussions are underway with the creative and technology sectors to let the office space.

Targeting the building being fully let and a subsequent sale.

The Hive (formerly Ballymoss House), Dublin

Construction started in August 2018 to refurbish and extend The Hive building, providing much needed office space to the undersupplied Dublin market. It has already attracted considerable letting interest.

Targeting practical completion of construction in August 2019, pre-letting the building and a subsequent sale.

Carrisbrook House, Dublin

Secured planning permission at Carrisbrook House in October 2018, having acquired the building in August 2017 as a neglected property with significant upside potential.

Revising planning consent to take advantage of new Dublin City Council planning guidance on heights.

The Record Store, Hayes

Progressing fit out.

Targeting fully letting building and sale.

Proprium Capital Partners

 

 

Mecca Bingo, London

Vacant possession discussions underway.

Securing planning.

 

 

 

Top five occupiers as at 31 March 2019

 

 

 

Annual Rent
£'m

% of contracted
rent

 

Matalan

 

0.5

4.7%

 

Sainsbury's Supermarket

0.5

4.2%

 

Ricardo-Aea

0.5

3.9%

 

B&M

 

0.4

3.2%

 

Carpetright

 

0.3

2.7%

 

 

Income generating properties - like for like rental income received

Year ended 31 March 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property owned throughout the year

Acquisitions

Disposals

Total net rental income

 

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Investment

9,831

3,931

(37)

13,725

Development and trading

1,823

334

308

2,465

Joint ventures

3,204

-

58

3,262

 

 

14,858

4,265

329

19,452

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended 28 February 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Property owned throughout the year

Acquisitions

Disposals

Total net rental income

 

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Investment

10,288

-

1,724

12,012

Development and trading

1,306

-

763

2,069

Joint ventures

2,404

-

358

2,762

 

 

13,998

-

2,845

16,843

 

 

Core investment portfolio - 31 March 2019

 

Gross rental income - tenant profile

 

 

1

PLC/Nationals

58.9%

 

2

Local Traders

29.1%

 

3

Regional Multiples

7.4%

 

4

FTSE 100

4.2%

 

5

Government

0.4%

 

 

 

 

 

Gross rental income - lease-term profile

 

 

1

0-5 years

54.4%

 

2

5-10 years

23.7%

 

3

10-15 years

14.3%

 

4

15-20 years

5.9%

 

5

20 years+

1.7%

 

 

 

 

 

Capital value - local profile

 

 

1

London

26.6%

 

2

South East

40.6%

 

3

Manchester

2.2%

 

4

Rest of UK

30.6%

 

               

 

Risk review

Our business model is shaped by the risks the Directors consider significant to our strategy, size and capabilities.

 

Risk management structure

The Group's risk profile is maintained under continual review by its Audit and Risk Committee and by the Board. In addition, the Group has a Risk Management Committee, which oversees the Group's risk register and risk control processes on behalf of the Audit and Risk Committee. The Risk Management Committee is comprised of senior employees from across the Group, covering all areas of the Group's operations.

 

External risks

Risk

 

Impact

 

Mitigation

 

Risk exposure change year-on-year

a. Market risk

The real estate market is directly linked to the health of the local and national economies. Lack of economic growth, recessionary conditions or economic uncertainty can translate into the negative sentiment towards, and performance of, real estate.

 

Lack of liquidity in market may delay the ability to realise planned disposals leading to significantly reduced cash inflows.

Higher occupier risk, leading to significantly reduced values.

Lack of occupier demand, resulting in inability to realise gains.

 

Risk-averse property development strategy, whereby projects are pre-funded, pre-let, or pre-sold where appropriate.

Long maturities of debt finance facilities.

Moderate level of gearing.

Regular meetings with economic forecasters to gauge economic trends.

 

-

The UK economic fundamentals remain solid. However, continuing political uncertainty as to the timing and nature of Brexit, together with escalating geopolitical risks and continuing trade uncertainties, continue to overshadow the market. The six-month Brexit delay will keep investment and housing decisions on hold.

b. Scarcity of viable investment and development opportunities

The Group's business is predominantly transactional and requires a flow of PPP, trading and investment opportunities to generate consistent returns. The risk is that the flow of suitably priced opportunities either reduces or stops.

 

Inability to source new deals leads to decline in development and trading profits in future years.

Higher pricing of acquisition opportunities leads to reduced ability to add value.

 

Flexible approach to market opportunities, seeking out sectors where value can be generated and seeking funding partners with different return requirements.

Stringent deal underwriting procedures with minimum return hurdles.

Maintaining broad industry contacts for acquisitions rather than being dependent on a single source of opportunity.

Use of PPP model to secure regeneration opportunities in an innovative way.

 

®

Opportunities continue to be sourced for development, trading and investment, which satisfy Group underwriting criteria, albeit that the market is running late cycle with yield rents and house prices at historically high levels.

c. Counterparty risk

Transaction counterparties, be they joint venture partners, purchasers under sale contracts or banks in respect of cash deposits or derivative arrangements, may suffer or fail financially.

 

Failure of sales transaction counterparties may lead to an inability to produce trading profits.

Failure of financial counterparties may impact effectiveness of hedging or recoverability of deposits.

 

Proof of funding required prior to agreeing sales contracts.

The Board regularly assesses the creditworthiness of financial counterparties prior to placing deposits and hedging transactions.

Substantial deposits are required for pre-sold residential developments prior to commencing construction.

 

®

The Group continues to have exposure to the private residential market through the development of pre-sold residential units both on and off-balance sheet. The risk of purchasers failing to complete has not reduced during the year as Bromley reached practical completion.

d. Bank funding risk

The pressure on a large number of traditional real estate lending banks to reduce their exposure to real estate reduces the capacity and liquidity within the lending market and can impact upon the availability of debt to deliver business plans.

 

Inability to secure funding for new opportunities.

Inability to refinance existing facilities, leading to disposals at the wrong time in business plans and failure to maximise profits.

Unpredictability of cash flows.

 

The Group maintains relationships with a wide range of both bank and non-bank lenders, reducing over-reliance on any one partner.

The Group is constantly seeking to widen its range of funding sources and liaises regularly with new entrants into the real estate lending market.

 

-

The lending market continues to see new entrants. Through the year there has been a gradual reduction in lenders' appetite for development risk, particularly on a speculative basis, as Brexit uncertainly continues and given expected increases in interest rates. Also, a gradual fall in house prices has impacted upon appetite for residential development.

 

BUSINESS RISKS

Risk

 

Impact

 

Mitigation

 

Risk exposure change year-on-year

e. Construction risk

There is a risk of being unable to secure a viable construction contract, post receipt of planning permission.

 

Real estate construction is subject to the risk of cost overruns, delay and the financial failure of an appointed contractor.

 

Reduced profitability or potential loss on individual projects and/or guarantees being called.

Construction work ceasing whilst a suitable replacement contractor is found, leading to delays in project completion and a reduction in profit.

 

The Group retains in-house experienced project managers throughout the life of individual projects, to ensure that costs are appropriately budgeted and timetables are adhered to, hence the impact of these risks is minimised.

The Group performs appropriate pre-contract due diligence on the capabilities and financial security of its material contractors and key sub-contractors.

The Group continually monitors the financial position of key contractors to anticipate financial difficulties.

If issues arise with contractors, the Group uses its professional teams and in-house expertise to mitigate the impact.

The Group requires detailed design and specification throughout the tender process to enable it to maximise the risk transfer to contractors.

The Group requires that all construction contracts include provisions for liquidated ascertained damages in the case of performance failures by contractors and that contractors provide performance bonds, typically to a level of 10% of the contract sum.

 

-

There continues to be an increase in construction material prices. At the same time, uncertainty over the status of EU nationals working in the UK post any deal between the UK and the EU is leading to construction workforce shortages and increasing labour costs. These are both impacting upon pricing and making the placement of construction contracts more difficult in terms of cost certainty and hence margin.

 

As a result, contractors are increasing pricing on new tenders so as to build in additional contingencies for the losses they have suffered in the last two to three years.

 

This can also lead to a lengthening of tender periods and the need for more detailed design before a viable construction contract can be agreed.

 

There has also been the failure of certain large-scale contractors which has both taken capacity out of the market and lead to other contractors reviewing their business models.

 

The complexity of our projects requires even greater rigour in delivery.

f. Planning risk

Procuring appropriate and valuable planning consents is often a key element of value creation through property development.

 

Securing planning permission in a changing political and regulatory environment is a complex and uncertain process, with applications subject to objection from a wide range of potential stakeholders, and hence prone to delay, modification and rejection.

 

Failure to secure planning consent can either cause delay or render a project unviable/unprofitable and lead to the write-off of considerable costs or reduced profit potential.

 

The Group retains a team with a strong track record of achieving planning consents and an extensive local knowledge, supplemented by advisors and sector specialist partners, to maximise the chance of success and reduce the risks and costs of failure.

An alternative exit strategy is always considered in case of planning failure.

The Group's PPP model seeks to build partnerships with local statutory and planning authorities as a way of mitigating risk.

 

-

The ability to obtain clear planning decisions is potentially compromised as key political events, such as elections, approach. Brexit focus has also weakened Central Government involvement in the planning process.

 

The political landscape and planning decisions are increasingly becoming the battleground on which disagreements over social issues play out. The financial strain on local authorities is also manifesting itself in under-resourcing of planning departments. Taken against a back-drop of ever-increasing complexity in both projects and planning regulations, especially in respect of mixed-use schemes with greater density, there is an urgent need to professionalise planning departments.

 

 

Financial review

 

Results for the year

During the year the Group focused on its aim of delivering development and trading gains whilst at the same time continuing to rationalise the number of smaller, inefficient projects it is involved in and restructuring its investment portfolio.

A summary of the Group's financial results is shown below:

 

13-month period ended

31 March 2019

Year ended

28 February 2018

Development and trading gains

£42.8m

£68.3m

Basic net asset value (NAV)

£360.1m

£379.3m

Basic NAV per share

        289p

303p

Total declared dividends per share

        10.0p

17.9p

Profit before tax

£6.3m*

£48.2m

Total return

      0.9%

12.2%

Balance sheet gearing

       38.6%

31.4%

* 13-month period to 31 March 2019

The profit before tax for the 13-month period to 31 March 2019 was £6.3 million (28 February 2018: £48.2 million), after generating development and trading gains of £42.8 million, marginally lower than the range we were guiding for the year.

Development and trading gains

During the year, we realised a total of £42.8 million of net development and trading gains. The key components of these gains are:

·      £13.8 million - Preston Barracks: disposal of residential accommodation scheme.

·      £9.3 million - Curzon Park: disposal of site via CPO*.

·      £4.8 million - Harwell: construction of two new buildings and disposal of surplus land*.

·      £4.7 million - Bryn Blaen: disposal of windfarm.

·      £4.0 million - Bicester: disposal of site.

·      £3.3 million - Charlton Riverside: disposal of site*.

·      £1.8 million - Circus Street: construction of student accommodation.

 

* These gains represent U+I's share of gains on assets held in joint venture arrangements with significant capital partners

 

The single largest element of the development and trading gains was at Preston Barracks where the consented residential site in Brighton was sold to Optivo, one of the largest housing providers in the UK and experts in affordable housing. This generated a profit of £13.8 million.

 

The Group holds 50% of the share capital in a joint venture which previously owned a 10.5-acre site at Curzon Park in Birmingham. During the year, the site was acquired, via compulsory purchase order (CPO), by High Speed Rail Link 2 (HS2). As a result of this disposal, the Group has been able to recognise a joint venture asset and hence recover losses previously recognised when the Group was unsure as to the recoverable amounts associated with the site. The net benefit during the period to the Group as a result of this is £9.3 million.

 

In addition to the above, approximately £1.1 million of gains were realised from a number of smaller projects as we continued our policy of rationalising the number of projects.

 

At our retail project in Lichfield we have taken a £3.4 million write off as we were unable to deliver a viable project prior to the longstop date in the PPP agreement; we will not incur any other costs.

 

 

Development and trading gains can be analysed as follows.

 

 

13-month period ended

31 March 2019

£m

Year ended

28 February 2018

£m

Included in segmental analysis:

 

 

Development and trading segment result

19.3

48.4

Share of results of joint ventures

17.1

13.0

Sale of investments

3.9

6.8

Other income

-

0.1

Adjustment re legacy corporate loan

2.5

-

 

42.8

68.3

 

 

Investment property portfolio

During the period, the Group continued its policy of selectively disposing of non-core assets outside of our key geographies, in particular Killingworth Centre, Newcastle.

 

We have been cautious about acquisitions, especially in light of uncertainty in the UK property market mainly driven by inactivity and lack of governmental decision making. In spite of this, we have invested £29.2 million in three attractive investment opportunities: St Peter's Quarter, Bournemouth, Waterglade Retail Park, Clacton-on-Sea and a Pure Gym unit in Finchley, where we will look to drive double-digit returns through asset management initiatives.

 

The Group's historic portfolio does still have a retail bias and as such we have suffered an £11.2 million decline in values. Overall, including our share of joint venture assets, we have seen a 4.9% decline in capital values, as market sentiment outweighed asset fundamentals, especially for retail property outside London and the South East.

 

Working capital

The nature of the Group's business involves transactions in real estate, both purchase and disposal, where there is usually a period of up to four weeks between exchange, when the transaction is accounted for, and completion when the associated cash flows.

 

As a result, depending on the purchase and disposal activity around the period end, there are large differences between the level of receivables and payables from one Balance Sheet to the next. For example, as at 31 March 2019, there were receivables of £23.2 million relating to asset disposals immediately prior to the period end (28 February 2018: £84.8 million). This highlights the significant movement from one period to the next of receivables.

 

Overheads

The overheads during the period comprised:

 

 

13-month period ended

31 March 2019

£m

Year ended

28 February 2018

£m

Group overheads

21.9

24.2

LTIP charge (net)

-

(1.8)

 

21.9

22.4

Income from specialist platforms

(2.5)

(2.1)

Net recurring overheads

19.4

20.3

 

 

 

Annualised net recurring overheads

17.8

20.3

 

 

 

We remain rigorously focused on maintaining capital discipline and a strong balance sheet. We have put in place an efficiencies programme to ensure that we continue to manage our recurring overheads as effectively as possible, whilst identifying further opportunities for efficiencies, both this financial period and in the longer-term. This is being led by a Chief Operating Officer who was appointed in January 2018 on an interim basis to undertake a review of all areas of the business and identify and implement cost savings. Annualised net recurring overheads in the financial period were £17.8 million (2018: £20.3 million).

 

Currently we employ certain specialist development related expertise internally, such as project management and marketing, rather than using external specialists. We do this as it gives us more immediate control over certain aspects of our projects. Historically we viewed this as a central cost/overhead expense. In order to more closely align ourselves with and be more comparable to our peer group, we are now adopting the industry-wide practice of capitalising that expenditure where appropriate, rather than treating it as a corporate overhead. This has led to capitalisation of £2.5 million of staff costs in FY2019.This is expected to be at a similar level in future years.

 

We have also invested in launching and building a market leading brand, which has helped us to win projects like CNFE. Maintaining the U+I brand is essential to our continued success but we believe we can now reduce our corporate marketing spend, whilst continuing to maintain its awareness and understanding.

 

To further increase efficiencies, over the financial period, we have undertaken an internal review of each project, which has led to us realigning teams and improving some of our processes so we now believe we have the right team size, structure and skillset, relevant to the scale, value and stage of each project, whilst being more efficient in our day to day delivery. As we conclude our existing smaller and legacy projects and continue to shift to fewer, larger projects, productivity will increase and support more efficient delivery, whilst generating higher returns as we turn these projects from vision to reality. Furthermore, as we move into the delivery phase of our pipeline, we will increase the opportunity to earn additional Development Management Fees to offset our overhead. Fees generated in FY2019 were £2.5 million, a figure which we expect to increase annually over the next five years, with £3.0 million targeted in FY2020.

 

Net finance costs

Net finance costs for the 13-month period of £5.8 million (2018: £9.7 million) include a foreign exchange gain of £0.2 million (2018: £1.4 million deficit) in respect of the retranslation of Euro-denominated loans and deposits.

 

For entities where the reporting currency is in Euros, retranslation differences are charged to reserves. The movement for 2019 was a gain of £0.2 million (2018: £0.3 million gain). The net impact of these movements on NAV during the year was £0.4 million gain (2018: £1.1 million loss).

 

Debt

We use debt finance to leverage the use of our equity in property transactions. We continue to borrow from a wide range of financial institutions, including UK clearing banks, insurance company-backed lenders, debt funds and financial institutions. The availability of debt finance has not impacted our ability to transact new property deals.

 

Details of our debt facilities are shown in the table below:

 

Group's bank facilities

 

Principal financial highlights

Facility type

Notes

Total facility

Utilised as at 31 March 2019

£'000

Interest rate

Maturity

Loan to value ratio

Interest1

cover ratio

Minimum1

net worth

£'000

Loans financing longer-term assets

Term loan

3

£10,580

10,580

Variable

10-Jan-20

73%

160%

-

Loan notes

2

€47,000

~40,448

Cap

24-Apr-21

-

-

-

Term loan

 

£19,710

13,410

Variable

25-Mar-22

50%

175%

Term loan

Term loan

 

£66,667

65,831

Fixed

5-Dec-32

75%

125%

Term loan

Loans financing development and trading assets

Term loan

3

£44,100

45,276

Fixed

31-Mar-19

-

-

-

Term loan

3, 4

£26,000

28,432

Variable

30-Jun-19

60%

125%

100,000

Term loan

3

£4,900

4,900

Fixed

16-Nov-19

-

-

-

Term loan

3

€22,045

~18,292

Fixed

18-Nov-19

-

-

-

Term loan

3

€20,125

~11,928

Fixed

06-Jan-20

-

-

-

Term loan

4

£9,500

10,415

Variable

31-Jan-20

-

-

-

Term loan

4

£26,000

26,652

Fixed

31-Jan-20

-

-

-

Term loan

3

£31,000

15,881

Variable

24-Oct-21

-

-

-

Term loan

3

£5,610

5,330

Cap

31-Mar-21

60%

175%

-

Term loan

3

€14,000

~12,048

Variable

08-Aug-21

-

-

-

Term loan

 

£16,800

15,800

Fixed

15-Jan-22

-

-

-

Term loan

 

€8,515

~7,328

Fixed

13-Dec-22

75%

-

200,000

Term loan

3

£16,674

3,500

Variable

31-Dec-22

-

120%

-

Term loan

 

€2,180

~1,876

Fixed

28-Mar-23

75%

-

200,000

Term loan

3

£24,113

22,410

Variable

31-Dec-22

-

-

-

Term loan

3

£110,000

65,000

SWAP

16-Feb-26

65%

150%

-

1  Interest cover ratios are specific to the loan and the relevant property. Minimum net worth refers to the net asset value of the Group per its latest Balance Sheet (31 March or 30 September)

2  These unsecured, variable rate loan notes are denominated in Euros, with a nominal value of €47 million. An interest rate cap is in place to limit the Group's exposure to movements in the EURIBOR rate.

3  Loans relating to joint ventures represent the total loan facility and not the Group's share

4  This facility has the provision to allow interest to be rolled into the loan

~  Represents the amount of the Group's liability in Sterling as at the balance sheet date

 

During the year, the major changes to our debt portfolio were as follows:

·      Refinancing the Barclays loan for a new £19.7 million, three-year facility. This also resulted in the repayment of the Santander loan.

·      Draw down of £15.8 million loan to finance the purchase of The Arts Building.

·      Two new Irish loan facilities secured on two industrial assets in Dublin.

·      To enable the build out of the Hendy wind farm, the joint venture entered into a £16.7 million loan facility with Close Brothers.

·      The Santander facility financing the development of Harwell was refinanced during the period. The new £110.0 million facility was signed by the joint venture in February 2019.

 

Our debt policy can be summarised as follows:

·      Longer-term fixed rate facilities are used to fund longer-term income-producing assets. Target loan to value (LTV): 60-65%.

·      Shorter-term asset-specific debt aligned to the business plan for shorter-term trading assets. Target LTV: 50-55%.

·      Medium-term Euro-denominated corporate debt to support our investment into Euro-denominated assets in Dublin. No LTV target as this is corporate-level debt.

·      The Group has no specific debt on non-income producing assets or investments into PPP schemes.

·      Joint venture arrangements are designed to leverage both our operational expertise and our Balance Sheet. When acting with third party capital we deploy asset-specific debt, which is often at a higher LTV (65-75%), reflecting the risk appetite and cost of capital of our partners.

 

 

 

A summary of the Group's gearing is shown below.

 

Group gearing

 

Target

31 March

2019

28 February

 2018

Gearing (excl. share of JVs)

40-50%

38.6%

39.1%

31.4%

Gearing (incl. share of JVs)

50-60%

62.8%

50.5%

 

The greatest fluctuation in gearing occurs where we utilise debt to fund the build-out of pre-sold residential developments on our own Balance Sheet.

 

Our overall gearing targets therefore act as a limit on the amount of development that we can undertake on our own Balance Sheet.

 

The Group maintains a mix of variable and fixed rate facilities to provide a degree of certainty whilst also benefiting from historically low interest rates. Longer-term facilities tend to be structured with fixed rates.

 

 

 

31 March

2019

28 February

2018

Group net debt and gearing:

 

 

 

Gross debt

£m

(179.8)

(171.2)

Cash and cash equivalents

£m

40.8

52.1

Net debt

£m

(139.0)

(119.1)

Net assets

£m

360.1

379.3

Gearing

%

38.6

31.4

Weighted average debt maturity

years

6.2

7.0

Weighted average interest rate

%

4.6

4.7

 

 

 

 

Including joint ventures:

 

 

 

Share of net debt in joint ventures

£m

(87.3)

(72.7)

Gearing

%

62.8

50.5

Weighted average debt maturity

years

4.5

5.4

Weighted average interest rate

%

5.1

5.2

 

 

Monies held in restrictive account and deposits

As at 31 March 2019 the Group held £8.8 million of restricted cash deposits (28 February 2018: £11.5 million). Restricted cash deposits primarily arise as a result of the operation of certain of the Group's debt facilities where, on disposal of an asset charged to the facility, the lender temporarily retains the sale proceeds as security pending reinvestment. The restricted cash deposits are deemed to be directly attributable to associated debt facility and as such are reported under financing activities in the Group's Consolidated Cash Flow Statement.

 

Joint venture arrangements

The Group has a policy of working in joint venture arrangements as a way of:

·      Leveraging our equity so we can participate in projects that would otherwise be too large for our Balance Sheet;

·      Accessing deals with specialist partners who have secured positions on projects but require further equity and the planning and structuring skills, which are a key part of our business.

 

During the year, the Group has continued to create considerable value from one of its most important joint ventures:

·      At Harwell we are partnered with the UKAEA, STFC and Harwell Oxford Partners on the 700-acre Harwell Campus, an internationally renowned science campus. During the period we have successfully completed the letting and development of two buildings and let over 125,000 sq. ft. of space to, amongst others, Oxford Nanopore technologies and Agilent Technologies. During the period this has generated both £4.8 million of development and trading gains and net investment gains of £1.2 million in respect of the Group's holding.

 

 

Taxation

Our tax strategy is aligned with our overall business strategy and is principled, transparent and sustainable for the long- term. The key components of this strategy are:

·      A commitment to ensure full compliance with all statutory obligations, including full disclosure to all relevant tax authorities;

·      Any tax planning strategy entered into is only implemented after full consideration of the risks and if necessary after prior consultation with the relevant tax authority. Those findings are recorded in any relevant structuring document;

·      The maintenance of good relationships with tax authorities and a clear interaction between tax planning and the Group's wider corporate reputation and responsibility; and

·      Management of tax affairs in a manner that seeks to maximise shareholder value whilst operating within the parameters of existing tax legislation.

 

For the financial period the underlying tax rate, including deferred taxes, was 16.5%. The Group's tax rate is sensitive to both geographical location of profits and business activity from which the profits are derived. It is anticipated that future years will see an increase in the effective tax rate following legislative changes announced in the 2017 Budget and the possible impact of interest deductions in line with OECD's Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Point 4.

 

The suitability of our tax strategy is kept under constant review to ensure compliance with both the fiscal needs of the Group and the constant evolution of tax legislation.

 

Dividends

Our dividend policy consists of two elements as follows:

·      An Ordinary dividend, comprising interim and final at 2.4 pence and 3.5 pence per share respectively; and

·      A supplemental dividend related to the net free level of cash flow generated from the financial year.

 

A final dividend of 3.5 pence per share was approved by the Board on 21 May 2019, to be paid on 6 September 2019 to shareholders on the register on 9 August 2019 (2018: 3.5 pence per share).

 

On 21 May 2019, the Board approved the payment of a supplemental dividend of 4.1 pence per share, to be paid on 12 July 2019 to shareholders on the register on 6 June 2019.

 

Foreign currency movements

The Group's operations are conducted primarily in the UK. However, as one of its three core regions is Dublin, the Group is exposed to movements in foreign exchange rates between Sterling and Euros.

 

The Group's principal exposure to foreign currency movements is in respect of its €47.0 million Euro-denominated loan notes, Euro-denominated bank loans and property assets.

 

At 31 March 2019, the Group had net Euro-denominated liabilities of €30.9 million (2018: €38.7 million).

 

During the year, the value of Sterling against the Euro has fluctuated reflecting economic uncertainty relating to the UK's decision to leave the EU. The impact on our NAV during the period was a gain of £0.4 million, which is the net result of a gain of £0.2 million recorded in finance income in the profit and loss account and a gain through reserves of £0.2 million. This demonstrates that the Group's foreign currency hedging strategy has been effective during times of significant foreign currency volatility.

 

 

Marcus Shepherd

Chief Financial Officer

 

22 May 2019

 

 

 

Five-year summary

 

 

 

31 March

2019

28 February

2018

28 February

2017

28 February

2016

28 February

201

Revenue

£m

150.3

173.7

123.9

242.3

203.7

Profit/(loss) before taxation

£m

6.3

48.2

(1.7)

25.8

34.8

Net assets

£m

360.1

379.3

347.6

363.3

346.4

Earnings/(loss) per share

Pence

4.2

32.2

(2.4)

17.5

26.8

Net assets per share

Pence

289

303

278

291

276

Viability statement

 

Introduction

U+I's business model is to deliver returns through regeneration, realising profits by successfully transforming undervalued land and assets into new places that deliver social and economic value to a wide range of stakeholders.

 

The key drivers in delivering the model are as follows:

·      Ability to source a regular supply of new business opportunities which can deliver profits in future years.

·      Sourcing debt finance to leverage new business opportunities and refinance existing facilities where appropriate.

·      Access to a wide range of capital partners to co-invest in larger schemes and forward fund larger speculative developments.

·      Successfully delivering new planning permissions.

·      A high-yielding investment portfolio generating a sustainable cash yield to support business activities and sustain corporate overheads.

·      Maintaining a diversified portfolio of projects so as to reduce property specific risk across the overall portfolio.

 

Assessment period

The Group's business planning process consists of a five-year look forward. The rationale for this is that the main driver of success is the generation of development and trading gains from projects, with the exception of two outliers:

 

·      Short-term pure trading; and

·      Long-term land strategies.

 

The majority of projects have a duration of between two and five years from acquisition to exit. Therefore, from any starting point, over a five-year period the vast majority of projects will have moved through to exit. To plan for a period longer than five years would lead to the construction of a purely theoretical model in years 5+, rather than one underpinned by specific existing projects in the initial five-year period.

 

Therefore, for the purposes of this review, the business has been considered and stress tested over a five-year period.

 

Consideration of principal risks

The nature of the Group's business and the industry in which it operates expose it to a variety of risks. The Board regularly reviews the principal risks and assesses the appropriate controls and mitigating actions required to manage the operations of the Group within an appropriate risk environment. The Board has further considered their impact within the context of the Group's viability with particular emphasis on construction and planning risk.

 

Assumptions

In assessing the long-term viability of the Group, the Board has made the following assumptions:

 

Property investment valuations continue to be broadly stable with no prolonged significant downwards movements.

 

·      The Group continues to be able to deliver cash-backed development and trading gains from its existing portfolio of projects sufficient to meet its operational requirements, principally driven by securing new planning permissions.

·      The Group continues to be able to source new business opportunities capable of delivering both short-term trading gains and longer-term development gains to replace existing projects as they are exited.

·      The Group continues with its policy of having a mixture of long-term debt associated with its long-term investment portfolio and shorter-term stand-alone debt associated with its development and trading projects.

·      The Group continues, as it did throughout the previous recession, to be able to source both replacement and new debt facilities as they are required from both existing and new lenders.

·      The Group continues with its policy of maintaining a broad range of counterparties, including financial, contractor and purchaser, so as to mitigate the impact of potential counterparty failure.

·      The Group continues its policy of de-risking developments by obtaining forward-funding for larger schemes and only carrying out limited on-balance sheet development.

·      Construction contracts are entered into on a guaranteed maximum price basis where possible.

 

The Group maintains its current conservative gearing strategy.

 

In addition, the Group's five-year business model was stress-tested to simulate either a deterioration in market conditions, which could be the result of a number of factors, including a disorderly Brexit outcome, or a flexing of these assumptions, as detailed below. In particular, consideration was given to the following:

·      Persistent valuation falls of 2.5%, 5.0% and 10.0% per annum for each of the next five years and the resultant impact upon NAV, gearing covenants and cash levels i.e. a fall of 25% in property values.

·      Inability to win any new business opportunities over the next five years - hence the only profits that can be generated are from existing schemes.

·      Debt facilities were stress-tested to see how much property valuations would need to fall before loan covenants would be breached and how much cash would be required to cure any loan covenant defaults.

 

Conclusion

As a result of the work performed above, including the consideration of the key assumptions and the subsequent stress testing, the Board believes that the Group's strategy of maintaining a broad portfolio of development and trading projects, a core investment portfolio and a diverse range of financial and operational counterparties provides the Group with a strong platform on which to continue its business.

 

The Directors therefore have a reasonable expectation that the Group will be able to continue in operation and meet its liabilities as they fall due over the five-year period to March 2024.

 

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

For the 13-month period ended 31 March 2019

 

Notes

13-month period ended

31 March 2019

Total

£'000

Year ended

28 February 2018

Total

£'000

Revenue

2

150,310

173,684

Direct costs

2

(123,449)

(117,477)

Gross profit

2

26,861

56,207

Operating costs

2

(21,859)

(24,235)

(Loss)/gain on disposal of investment properties

2

(223)

3,324

Loss on revaluation of property portfolio

9

(11,165)

(2,417)

Operating (loss)/profit

 

(6,386)

32,879

Other income

 

2,547

2,089

Share of post-tax profits of joint ventures and associates

2

12,128

16,175

Profit from sale of investments

2

3,888

6,713

(Loss)/gain on sale of other plant and equipment

 

(42)

5

Profit before interest and income tax

 

12,135

57,861

Finance income

3(a)

617

94

Finance costs

3(b)

(6,432)

(9,783)

Profit before income tax

 

6,320

48,172

Income tax

 

(1,120)

(7,916)

Profit for the period/year

 

5,200

40,256

 

 

 

 

OTHER COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

 

 

 

Profit for the period/year

 

5,200

40,256

Items that may be subsequently reclassified to profit or loss:

 

 

 

Currency translation differences

 

163

292

Revaluation of operating property

6

40

35

Total comprehensive income for the period/year

 

5,403

40,583

Basic earnings per share attributable to the Parent*

5

4.2p

32.2p

Diluted earnings per share attributable to the Parent*

5

4.2p

32.2p

 

*              Adjusted earnings per share from continuing activities is given in note 5.

 

All amounts in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income relate to continuing operations.

 

 

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet

As at 31 March 2019

 

 

31 March 2019

 

28 February 2018

 

Notes

£'000

£'000

 

£'000

£'000

NON-CURRENT ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct real estate interests

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investment properties

6

154,041

 

 

139,506

 

Operating property

 

750

 

 

775

 

Trade and other receivables

 

4,617

 

 

2,487

 

 

 

 

159,408

 

 

142,768

Indirect real estate interests

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investments in associates

7

5,763

 

 

-

 

Investments in joint ventures

7

103,870

 

 

92,806

 

Intangible assets - goodwill

 

2,328

 

 

2,328

 

Financial assets at amortised cost

 

3,204

 

 

 

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

 

13,244

 

 

-

 

Financial assets available-for-sale

 

-

 

 

15,812

 

Financial assets at fair value through other comprehensive income

 

1,271

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

129,680

 

 

110,946

Other non-current assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other plant and equipment

 

4,594

 

 

4,241

 

Derivative financial instruments

 

-

 

 

10

 

Deferred income tax assets

 

1,294

 

 

1,225

 

 

 

 

5,888

 

 

5,476

Total non-current assets

 

 

294,976

 

 

259,190

CURRENT ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inventory - development and trading properties

8

203,759

 

 

216,393

 

Financial assets at amortised cost

 

8,962

 

 

8,888

 

Financial assets available-for-sale

 

-

 

 

7,949

 

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

 

13,672

 

 

-

 

Trade and other receivables

 

60,426

 

 

119,629

 

Current income tax asset

 

-

 

 

-

 

Monies held in restricted accounts and deposits

 

8,841

 

 

11,473

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

31,911

 

 

40,626

 

 

 

 

327,571

 

 

404,958

Total assets

 

 

622,547

 

 

664,148

CURRENT LIABILITIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trade and other payables

 

(77,286)

 

 

(99,716)

 

Current income tax liabilities

 

(1,230)

 

 

(7,748)

 

Borrowings

9

(37,394)

 

 

(63,209)

 

Provisions

 

(36)

 

 

(2,513)

 

 

 

 

(115,946)

 

 

(173,186)

NON-CURRENT LIABILITIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Borrowings

9

(142,362)

 

 

(107,975)

 

Deferred income tax liabilities

 

(3,448)

 

 

(3,290)

 

Provisions

 

(646)

 

 

(416)

 

 

 

 

(146,456)

 

 

(111,681)

Total liabilities

 

 

(262,402)

 

 

(284,867)

Net assets

 

 

360,145

 

 

379,281

EQUITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share capital

 

62,716

 

 

62,671

 

Share premium

 

104,590

 

 

104,475

 

Other reserves

 

54,457

 

 

56,628

 

Retained earnings

 

138,382

 

 

155,507

 

Total equity

 

 

360,145

 

 

379,281

Basic/diluted net assets per share attributable to the owners of the Parent

5

 

289p/289p

 

 

303p/303p

Approved and authorised for issue by the Board of Directors on 22 May 2019 and signed on its behalf by:

M S Weiner, Director

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity

For the 13-month period ended 31 March 2019

 

Notes

Share
capital

£'000

Share premium £'000

Other reserves £'000

Retained earnings

£'000

Total
equity

£'000

At 1 March 2017

 

62,613

104,325

54,551

126,136

347,625

Profit for the year ended 28 February 2018

 

-

-

-

40,256

40,256

Other comprehensive income:

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Revaluation of operating property

 

-

-

35

-

35

- Currency translation differences

 

-

-

292

-

292

Total comprehensive income for the year ended 28 February 2018

 

-

-

327

40,256

40,583

Issue of Ordinary shares

 

58

150

-

-

208

Share-based payments

 

-

-

1,750

-

1,750

Final dividend 2017

4

-

-

-

(4,379)

(4,379)

Supplemental dividend 2017

4

-

-

-

(3,503)

(3,503)

Interim dividend 2018

4

-

-

-

(3,003)

(3,003)

Total contributions by and distributions to owners of the Company

 

58

150

1,750

(10,885)

(8,927)

Balance at 28 February 2018

 

62,671

104,475

56,628

155,507

379,281

Profit for the 13-month period ended
31 March 2019

 

-

-

-

5,200

5,200

Other comprehensive income:

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Revaluation of operating property

 

-

-

40

-

40

- Currency translation differences

 

-

-

163

-

163

Total comprehensive income for the period ended 31 March 2019

 

-

-

203

5,200

5,403

Issue of Ordinary shares

 

45

115

-

-

160

Share-based payments (net movement)

 

-

-

(1,081)

109

(972)

Treasury shares (net movement)

 

-

-

(1,293)

-

(1,293)

Final dividend 2018

4

-

-

-

(4,390)

(4,390)

Supplemental dividend 2018

4

-

-

-

(15,033)

(15,033)

Interim dividend 2019

4

-

-

-

(3,011)

(3,011)

Total contributions by and distributions to owners of the Company

 

45

115

(2,374)

(22,325)

(24,539)

Balance at 31 March 2019

 

62,716

104,590

54,457

138,382

360,145

 

 

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

For the 13-month period ended 31 March 2019

 

Notes

31 March

2019

£'000

28 February 2018

£'000

CASH GENERATED FROM/(USED IN) OPERATIONS

 

 

 

Cash flows generated from/(used in) operating activities

10

31,562

(211)

Interest paid

 

(7,189)

(9,140)

Income tax paid

 

(296)

Net cash generated from/(used in) operating activities

 

16,823

(9,647)

CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES

 

 

 

Interest received

 

417

3,803

Proceeds on disposal of other plant and equipment

 

10

5

Proceeds on disposal of investment properties

 

7,293

39,253

Proceeds from sale of investments

 

10,506

Purchase of other plant and equipment

 

(1,225)

(822)

Purchase of investment properties

 

(30,496)

(2,432)

Investment in joint ventures

 

(31,351)

(31,535)

Cash inflow from joint ventures and associates - disposals

 

-

4,000

Cash inflow from joint ventures and associates - profit distribution

 

-

6,482

Cash inflow from joint ventures and associates - dividends

 

17,654

Cash inflow from joint ventures and associates - repayment of loan

 

8,998

972

Cash outflow for financial asset loans

 

(3,784)

(5,676)

Cash inflow from financial assets - loans repaid by other real estate businesses

 

10,455

Net cash (used in)/generated from investing activities

 

(11,460)

24,505

CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES

 

 

 

Dividends paid

 

(22,434)

(10,885)

Issue of new shares

 

160

208

Purchase of treasury shares

 

(1,293)

Repayments of borrowings

 

(38,233)

(120,529)

New bank loans raised

 

46,013

118,110

Transaction costs associated with borrowings

 

(923)

(922)

Cash released from restricted accounts

 

31,910

27,434

Cash retained by restricted accounts

 

(11,421)

Net cash (used in)/generated from financing activities

 

1,995

Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents

 

(8,715)

16,853

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year

 

40,626

23,785

Exchange loss on cash and cash equivalents

 

(12)

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period/year

 

40,626

 

 

 

 

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS COMPRISE:

 

 

 

Cash at bank and in hand

 

31,911

40,626

Bank overdrafts

 

-

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period/year

 

40,626

 

 

 

 

NET DEBT COMPRISES:

 

 

 

Monies held in restricted accounts and deposits

 

8,841

11,473

Cash and cash equivalents

 

31,911

40,626

Financial liabilities:

 

 

 

- Current borrowings

 

(37,394)

(63,209)

- Non-current borrowings

 

(107,975)

Net debt

 

(119,085)

 

An analysis of the movement in net debt is provided in note 10.

 

 

Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements

For the 13-month period ended 31 March 2019

 

1 Basis of preparation and accounting policies

a)

(i) General information

The Consolidated financial statements of the Group for the 13-month period ended 31 March 2019 comprise the results of U and I Group PLC and its subsidiaries and were authorised by the Board for issue on 21 May 2019.

 

The Company is a public limited company which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is incorporated and domiciled in the UK. The address of its registered office is 7A Howick Place, London SW1P 1DZ.

 

(ii) Going concern

The Group meets its day to day working capital requirements through its cash reserves and bank facilities. The current economic conditions continue to create uncertainty. The Group produces regular forecasts and cash flow projections to confirm that it can continue to operate within the level of its existing banking facilities. The Group considers the risks and uncertainties highlighted in the Viability Statement when reviewing its projections. Following this review, the Directors consider it appropriate to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in preparing its Consolidated financial statements.

 

b) Basis of preparation

The Group's financial statements have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) and IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRSIC) interpretation as adopted by the European Union and with the Companies Act 2006 applicable to companies reporting under IFRS. The accounting policies which follow set out those policies which were applied consistently in preparing the financial statements for the 13-month period ended 31 March 2019 and the year ended 28 February 2018.

 

The Consolidated financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis and under the historical cost convention, as modified by the revaluation of investment property, operating property, financial assets classified as fair value through profit or loss (FVPL) or fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI), financial liabilities and derivative instruments at fair value through profit and loss.

 

The financial information included in the preliminary announcement does not constitute statutory Consolidated financial statements of the Group for the periods ended 31 March 2019 and 28 February 2018 but is derived from those Consolidated financial statements. Statutory Consolidated financial statements for 2018 have been delivered to the registrar of companies and those for 31 March 2019 will be delivered in due course. The auditors have reported on those financial statements; their reports were (i) unmodified, (ii) did not include a reference to any matters which the auditors drew attention by way of emphasis without modifying their report, and (iii) did not contain a statement under section 498(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

c) Critical accounting judgements and estimates

When preparing the Group financial statements, management are required to make judgements, assumptions and estimates concerning the future. These judgements and assumptions are made at the time the financial statements are prepared and adopted based on the best information available. Actual outcomes may be different from initial estimates and are reflected in the financial statements as soon as they become apparent. Management believe that the underlying assumptions are appropriate. Areas requiring judgements or estimates are discussed in the following section.

 

Judgements other than estimates

1.1 Classification of directly owned property assets

The Group earns revenue from property development, trading and investment, and operating serviced offices.

 

Property development includes the entire development process from identification of an opportunity through to construction, letting and sale of a completed scheme. This activity is undertaken both on the Group's own Balance Sheet and in partnership with institutional investors, usually via a pre-sale of the completed development.

 

Property trading refers to participation in the development process, where the Group acquires an interest in land and enhances the potential development, for instance by procuring or changing planning permission, before selling on to a third party to complete the development.

 

Property investment represents the acquisition of income-generating real estate which is held for the purposes of income and capital gain, through active asset management.

 

In most cases the property interest is held directly by the Group and is classified either as investment property (refer note 6) or as inventory for development and trading properties (refer note 8).

The varied nature of the Group's properties is such that a number exhibit characteristics consistent with more than one classification; also, the Directors' strategy for an asset may change during its ownership. The Directors determine the status of each asset according to their intention on acquisition. A change in classification is made only in exceptional circumstances, where the strategy and use have demonstrably changed. Two assets have been reclassified from inventory to investment properties during the period (refer note 6).

 

1.2 Classification of projects in partnership

In addition to its directly owned and managed activities, the Group participates in similar activities in partnership with others, typically to access expertise in different locations or market sectors. The Group's financial participation may be by way of equity investment or loan. In each case a judgement is required as to the status of the Group's interest, as an associate, a joint venture, a joint operation or a financial asset, typically focusing on the extent of control exercised by the Group.

 

The Group's share of control is governed and achieved by a mixture of rights set out in agreements and participation in the management of each business. The exercise of control in practice does not always follow the legal structure. The Directors have considered the position in respect of each venture, taking account of the operation in practice, and have determined the status of each accordingly.

 

These investments are reported under the relevant balance sheet headings.

 

1.3 Acquisition of subsidiaries

The Group sometimes acquires properties through the purchase of entities which own real estate. At the time of acquisition, the Group considers whether the transaction represents the acquisition of a business. In cases where the entity is capable of being operated as a business, or an integrated set of activities is acquired in addition to the property, the Group accounts for the acquisition as a business combination. When the acquisition does not represent a business, it is accounted for as the purchase of a group of assets and liabilities. In making this distinction, the Group considers the number of items of land and buildings owned by the entity, the extent of ancillary services provided by the entity, and whether the entity has its own staff to manage the property (over and above the maintenance and security of the premises).

 

Estimates

1.4 Valuation of property assets

The key source of estimation uncertainty rests in the values of property assets, which affects several categories of assets in the Consolidated Balance Sheet.

 

The investment portfolio (and the operating property) are stated at fair value, which requires a number of judgements and estimates in assessing the qualities of the Group's assets relative to market transactions.

 

The same uncertainties affect the determination of fair value of certain financial instruments, with the further complexity that the value of these assets requires estimates of future construction costs, tenant demand and market yields.

 

The Group's development and trading properties are carried at the lower of cost and net realisable value. The determination of net realisable value relies upon similar estimates, with the added challenge, in some cases, of judgements about uncertain planning outcomes. These amounts are disclosed in note 8.

 

1.5 Impairment reviews

During the period, the Curzon Park site was subject to a compulsory purchase order (CPO) and the Group received an initial payment of compensation. The Directors are continuing their negotiations with the Government regarding the final settlement due for the site. The timing and amount of future receipts remain uncertain, however, following consultations with CPO advisors as to the minimum amount expected to receive, the Directors have reversed £4,613,000 of the impairment previously booked against the Group's joint venture holding.

 

1.6 Derivative financial instruments

The Group is party to a number of interest rate swap agreements which are accounted for as derivatives and measured at fair value. The estimation of this figure is based upon market assumptions about future movements in interest and exchange rates.

 

1.7 Group Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP)

During the period, the Group made awards to staff under the Group's LTIP. The awards vest according to a number of performance criteria, the primary measure being net asset value growth over a three-year period. In calculating the provision to accrue, management are required to estimate net asset growth over the vesting period. The estimate is reassessed at each reporting date. Following assessment, the 2016 LTIP will not vest and previous provisions have been reversed.

 

1.8 Revenue

The Group develops and sells properties. The development or sale contract will specify certain conditions which need to be satisfied and considered highly probable in order for revenue to be recognised. The Directors need to consider the terms within each contract in order to determine the amount and when revenue is recognised. The Directors will also need to consider the certainty surrounding the payment of contingent or variable consideration.

 

2 Segmental analysis

The segmental information presented consistently follows the information provided to the CODM and reflects the two sectors in which the Group operates. The CODM, which is responsible for allocating resources and assessing performance of the operating segments, has been identified as the Leadership Team. Following the decision to scale down its serviced office business the Group has reassessed its operating divisions. From 1 March 2018, for management purposes, the Group is now organised into two operating divisions, whose principal activities are as follows:

·      Investment - management of the Group's investment portfolio, generating rental income and valuation surpluses from property management; and

·      Development and trading - managing the Group's development and trading projects. Revenue is received from project management fees, development profits and the disposal of inventory.

 

The remaining elements of the service office operation are now reported under the investment division.

 

Operating revenue for the year ended 28 February 2018 was received from serviced office operations and was principally received under short-term licence agreements. During the period, the operating segment would have reported a deficit of £196,000.

 

These divisions are the basis on which the Group reports its primary segmental information. All operations occur and all assets are located in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. All revenue arises from continuing operations.

 

Unallocated amounts relate to general corporate assets and liabilities which cannot be allocated to specific segments; an analysis is provided in the table on the following page.

 

These divisions are the basis on which the Group reports its primary segmental information. All operations occur and all assets are located in the United Kingdom, except assets of £47,575,000 (28 February 2018: £30,004,000) which are located in the Republic of Ireland. All revenue arises from continuing operations.

 

13-month period ended 31 March 2019

Investment

£'000

Development

and trading

£'000

Total

£'000

Segment revenue

16,299

134,011

150,310

Direct costs

(8,719)

(114,730)

(123,449)

Segment result

7,580

19,281

26,861

Operating costs

(1,322)

(10,976)

(12,298)

Unallocated overhead costs

 

 

(9,561)

Loss on disposal of investment properties

(223)

-

(223)

Loss on revaluation of property portfolio

(11,165)

-

(11,165)

Operating (loss)/profit

 

 

(6,386)

Other income

481

2,066

2,547

Share of post-tax (losses)/profits of joint ventures and associates

(5,002)

17,130

12,128

(Loss)/profit on sale of investment

(42)

3,930

3,888

Unallocated loss on sale of other plant and equipment

 

 

(42)

Profit before interest and income tax

 

 

12,135

Finance income

250

367

617

Finance costs

(3,725)

(2,707)

(6,432)

Profit before income tax

 

 

6,320

Income tax

 

 

(1,120)

Profit for the period

 

 

5,200

 

 

 

 

ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

 

 

 

Segment assets

174,757

410,417

585,174

Unallocated assets

 

 

37,373

Total assets

 

 

622,547

 

 

 

 

Segment liabilities

(74,834)

(181,178)

(256,012)

Unallocated liabilities

 

 

(6,390)

Total liabilities

 

 

(262,402)

A summary of unallocated assets and liabilities is shown below.

 

13-month period ended 31 March 2019

Investment

£'000

Development

and trading

£'000

Total

£'000

OTHER SEGMENT INFORMATION

 

 

 

Capital expenditure

30,519

-

30,519

Unallocated capital expenditure

 

 

1,202

Impairment of assets

-

(9,137)

(9,137)

Depreciation

96

-

96

Unallocated depreciation

 

 

789

Development and trading expenditure

-

103,832

103,832

 

 

 

 

REVENUE

 

 

 

Rental income

13,725

2,465

16,190

Serviced office income

2,408

-

2,408

Project management fees

-

345

345

Trading property sales

-

7,393

7,393

Other property income

-

7,371

7,371

Development proceeds

-

116,374

116,374

Other

166

63

229

 

16,299

134,011

150,310

 

In the 13-month period ended 31 March 2019, three projects with turnover totalling £88,301,000 generated in excess of 10.0% of total revenue and fell within the development and trading segment.

 

Year ended 28 February 2018

Investment

£'000

Development

and trading

£'000

Operating

£'000

Total

£'000

Segment revenue

12,086

157,481

4,117

173,684

Direct costs

(3,656)

(109,037)

(4,784)

(117,477)

Segment result

8,430

48,444

(667)

56,207

Operating costs

(3,579)

(20,656)

-

(24,235)

Gain on disposal of investment properties

3,324

-

-

3,324

Loss on revaluation of property portfolio

(2,417)

-

-

(2,417)

Operating profit/(loss)

5,758

27,788

(667)

32,879

Other income

483

1,606

-

2,089

Share of post-tax profits of joint ventures and associates

3,142

13,033

-

16,175

(Loss)/profit on sale of investment

(99)

6,812

-

6,713

Unallocated gain on sale of other plant and equipment

 

 

 

5

Profit before interest and income tax

 

 

 

57,861

Finance income

35

59

-

94

Finance costs

(4,942)

(4,841)

-

(9,783)

Profit before income tax

 

 

 

48,172

Income tax

 

 

 

(7,916)

Profit for the year

 

 

 

40,256

 

 

 

 

 

ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

 

 

 

 

Segment assets

175,388

444,763

2,402

622,553

Unallocated assets

 

 

 

41,595

Total assets

 

 

 

664,148

 

 

 

 

 

Segment liabilities

(74,243)

(192,548)

(3,965)

(270,756)

Unallocated liabilities

 

 

 

(14,111)

Total liabilities

 

 

 

(284,867)

 

 

 

 

Year ended 28 February 2018

Investment

£'000

Development

and trading

£'000

Operating

£'000

Total

£'000

OTHER SEGMENT INFORMATION

 

 

 

 

Capital expenditure

3,038

-

22

3,060

Unallocated capital expenditure

 

 

 

194

Impairment of assets

-

(9,415)

-

(9,415)

Depreciation

173

-

63

236

Unallocated depreciation

 

 

 

724

Development and trading expenditure

-

137,342

-

137,342

 

 

 

 

 

REVENUE

 

 

 

 

Rental income

12,012

2,069

-

14,081

Serviced office income

-

-

4,117

4,117

Project management fees

-

358

-

358

Trading property sales

-

20,985

-

20,985

Other property income

-

2,695

-

2,695

Development proceeds

-

131,374

-

131,374

Other

74

-

-

74

 

12,086

157,481

4,117

173,684

 

In the year ended 28 February 2018, project with turnover totalling £23,250,000 generated in excess of 10.0% of total revenue and fell within the development and trading segment.

 

 

28 February 2018

£'000

UNALLOCATED ASSETS CAN BE ANALYSED AS FOLLOWS:

 

 

Other plant and equipment

4,448

4,087

Deferred income tax asset

1,294

1,225

Derivative financial instruments

-

10

Trade and other receivables

8,773

5,596

Cash and cash equivalents

30,677

 

41,595

 

 

 

UNALLOCATED LIABILITIES CAN BE ANALYSED AS FOLLOWS:

 

 

Current borrowings

(17)

(17)

Trade and other payables

(2,925)

(10,804)

Deferred income tax liability

(3,290)

 

(14,111)

 

 

3 Finance income and costs

a) Finance income

 

13-month period ended

31 March 2019

£'000

Year ended

28 February 2018

£'000

Interest receivable on loans and deposits

463

94

Net foreign currency differences arising on retranslation of cash and cash equivalents

154

-

 

617

94

       

 

 

b) Finance costs

 

13-month period ended

31 March 2019

£'000

Year ended

28 February 2018

£'000

Interest on bank loans and other borrowings

(9,138)

(8,488)

Amortisation of transaction costs

(449)

(1,405)

Provision: unwinding of discount

(19)

(7)

Fair value loss on financial instruments - interest rate swaps, caps and collars

(10)

(247)

Net foreign currency differences arising on retranslation of cash and cash equivalents

-

(1,376)

 

(9,616)

(11,523)

Capitalised interest on development and trading properties

3,184

1,740

Total finance costs

(6,432)

(9,783)

 

 

 

Net finance costs

(5,815)

(9,689)

Net finance costs before foreign currency differences

(5,969)

(8,313)

       

 

Interest was capitalised at an average rate of 6.21%. £2,701,000 of capitalised interest (28 February 2018: £nil) was written off in the period. The tax treatment of capitalised interest follows the accounting treatment.

 

4 Dividends

 

13-month period ended

31 March 2019

£'000

Year ended

28 February 2018

£'000

DECLARED AND PAID DURING THE PERIOD/YEAR

 

 

Equity dividends on Ordinary shares:

 

 

Final dividend for 28 February 2018: 3.50 pence per share (28 February 2017: 3.50 pence per share)

4,390

4,379

Interim dividend for 31 March 2019: 2.40 pence per share (28 February 2018: 2.40 pence per share)

3,011

3,003

Supplemental dividend for 28 February 2018: 12.00 pence per share (28 February 2017: 2.80 pence per share)

15,033

3,503

 

22,434

10,885

DIVIDEND DECLARED BUT NOT PAID SINCE 31 MARCH 2019

 

 

Supplemental dividend for 31 March 2019: 4.1 pence per share (28 February 2018: 12.00 pence per share)

5,114

15,041

 

 

 

PROPOSED FOR APPROVAL BY SHAREHOLDERS AT THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 

 

Final dividend for 31 March 2019: 3.50 pence per share (28 February 2018: 3.50 pence per share)

4,366

4,387

       

 

On 21 May 2019, the Board approved the payment of a supplemental dividend of 4.1 pence per share, which will be paid on 12 July 2019 to Ordinary shareholders on the register at the close of business on 6 June 2019 and will be recognised in the year ending 31 March 2020.

 

Subject to approval by shareholders, the final dividend of 3.50 pence was approved by the Board on 21 May 2019 and has not been included as a liability or deducted from retained earnings as at 31 March 2019. The final dividend is payable on 6 September 2019 to Ordinary shareholders on the register at the close of business on 9 August 2019 and will be recognised in the year ending 31 March 2020.

 

 

 

5 Earnings per share and net assets per share

The calculation of basic and diluted earnings per share and EPRA profit per share is based on the following data:

 

 

13-month period ended

31 March 2019

£'000

Year ended

28 February 2018

£'000

PROFIT

 

 

Profit for the purpose of basic and diluted earnings per share

5,200

40,256

Revaluation deficit/(surplus) (including share of joint venture revaluation surplus)

8,711

(13,454)

Loss/(gain) on disposal of investment properties

223

(3,324)

Impairment of development and trading properties

9,137

8,415

Impairment of financial assets

-

1,000

Reversal of previous impairments

(5,705)

Mark-to-market adjustment on interest rate swaps (including share of joint venture
mark-to-market adjustment)

411

140

EPRA adjusted profit from continuing activities attributable to owners of the Company

17,977

33,033

       

 

 

 

 

 

13-month period ended

31 March 2019

£'000

Year ended

28 February 2018

£'000

NUMBER OF SHARES

 

 

Weighted average number of Ordinary shares for the purpose of earnings per share

124,674

125,218

Effect of dilutive potential Ordinary shares:

 

 

Share options

98

57

Weighted average number of Ordinary shares for the purpose of diluted earnings per share

124,772

125,275

Basic earnings per share (pence)

4.2p

32.2p

Diluted earnings per share (pence)

4.2p

32.2p

EPRA adjusted earnings per share (pence)

14.4p

26.4p

EPRA adjusted diluted earnings per share (pence)

14.4p

26.4p

       

 

The Directors consider the acquisition and disposal of trading assets to be part of the core business of the Group and therefore have not adjusted profit for the gain on disposal when calculating EPRA adjusted earnings per share.

 

Net assets per share and diluted net assets per share have been calculated as follows:

 

 

Net assets

£'000

No. of shares

'000

Net assets

£'000

No. of shares

'000

28 February 2018

Net assets

per share

Pence

Basic net assets per share attributable
to the owners

360,145

124,741

289

379,281

125,343

303

Cumulative mark-to-market adjustment on interest rate swaps

(430)

 

 

(19)

 

 

EPRA adjusted net assets per share

359,715

124,741

288

379,262

125,343

303

Cumulative mark-to-market adjustment on interest rate swaps

430

 

 

19

 

 

Fair value of debt

(12,648)

 

 

(9,514)

 

 

EPRA adjusted triple net assets per share

347,497

124,741

280

369,767

125,343

295

Effect of dilutive potential Ordinary shares

521

294

 

625

447

 

Diluted net assets per share

360,666

125,035

289

379,906

125,790

303

EPRA diluted net assets per share

360,236

125,035

379,887

125,790

303

EPRA diluted triple net assets per share

348,018

125,035

370,392

125,790

295

 

 

6 Investment properties

 

Freehold

£'000

Total

£'000

At valuation 1 March 2017

136,873

42,326

179,199

Additions:

 

 

 

- acquisitions

-

1,627

1,627

- capital expenditure

528

277

805

Transfer from development and trading assets

13,000

471

13,471

Disposals

(51,688)

(1,491)

(53,179)

Deficit on revaluation

(1,322)

(2,417)

At valuation 28 February 2018

97,391

42,115

139,506

Additions:

 

 

 

- acquisitions

24,108

5,061

29,169

- capital expenditure

171

1,156

1,327

Transfer from development and trading assets

-

2,720

2,720

Disposals

-

(7,516)

(7,516)

Deficit on revaluation

(6,873)

(11,165)

At valuation 31 March 2019

114,797

154,041

 

Direct costs of £6,115,000 (28 February 2018: £3,656,000) arose as a result of ownership of investment properties.

 

Two development and trading assets were transferred to investment properties during the period following a change in strategy and use of the assets. The Group intends to hold the properties for the foreseeable future for capital appreciation and rental income.

 

a) Reconciliation of market value of investment properties to the net book amount

The following table reconciles the market value of investment properties to their net book amount. The components of the reconciliation are included within their relevant balance sheet heading.

 

 

28 February 2018

£'000

Market value as assessed by the independent valuers or Directors

157,328

142,092

Amount included in prepayments and accrued income in respect of lease incentives

(2,586)

Net book amount of Investment properties - non-current assets

139,506

 

At 31 March and 30 September (previously 28 February and 31 August) each year, the Group engages professionally qualified valuers who hold a recognised professional qualification and who have recent experience in the locations and sectors of the investment portfolio. As at 31 March 2019, completed investment properties have been valued by CBRE Ltd at a value of £138,748,000 (28 February 2018: £124,329,000). The current value equates to the highest and best use value of the asset.

 

The valuers have consented to the use of their name in the financial statements.

 

Included within Investment properties are freehold land and buildings representing investment properties under development, amounting to £15,293,000 (28 February 2018: £15,177,000), which have been valued by the Directors. These properties comprise buildings and landholdings for current or future development as investment properties. This approach has been taken because the value of these properties is dependent on a detailed knowledge of the planning status, the competitive position of these assets and a range of complex project development appraisals.

 

Investment properties under development include £8,075,000 (28 February 2018: £8,075,000) of landholdings adjacent to retail properties within the Group's portfolio, acquired for the purpose of extending the existing shopping centres. The fair value of these properties rests in the planned extensions, and is difficult to estimate pending confirmation of designs and planning permission, and hence has been estimated by the Directors at cost as an approximation to fair value.

 

£138,593,000 (28 February 2018: £122,059,000) of total investment properties are charged as security against the Group's borrowings.

 

 

7 Investments

 

Investments in

associates

 £'000

Investments in

joint ventures

£'000

At 1 March 2017

8,372

46,089

Additions

-

31,535

Share of profit/(loss)

7

(609)

Share of revaluation surplus

-

16,670

Share of mark-to-market adjustment on interest rate swaps

-

107

Share of results

7

16,168

Transfer to subsidiaries

(1,500)

-

Disposal of associate

(2,500)

-

Distributions under profit share arrangements

(4,379)

(14)

Capital distributions - repayment of loans

-

(972)

At 28 February 2018

-

92,806

Additions

5,777

25,574

Share of (loss)/profit

(14)

10,109

Share of revaluation surplus

-

2,454

Share of mark-to-market adjustment on interest rate swaps

-

(421)

Share of results

(14)

12,142

Dividend distributions

-

(17,654)

Capital distributions - repayment of loans

-

(8,998)

At 31 March 2019

5,763

103,870

 

8 Inventory

 

Development

properties

 £'000

Trading

properties

£'000

Total

£'000

DEVELOPMENT AND TRADING PROPERTIES

 

 

 

At 1 March 2017

165,588

42,754

208,342

Additions:

 

 

 

- acquisitions

3,131

-

3,131

- development expenditure

132,101

2,110

134,211

Transfer to investment assets (refer note 6)

(471)

(13,000)

(13,471)

Disposals

(90,428)

(18,616)

(109,044)

Foreign currency differences

-

580

580

Net write down of development properties to net realisable value

(7,356)

-

(7,356)

At 28 February 2018

202,565

13,828

216,393

Additions:

 

 

 

- acquisitions

-

35,912

35,912

- development expenditure

66,190

361

66,551

- capitalised staff costs

1,369

-

1,369

Transfer to investment assets (refer note 6)

(2,720)

-

(2,720)

Disposals

(97,985)

(6,507)

(104,492)

Foreign currency differences

-

(117)

(117)

Net write down of development properties to net realisable value

(7,402)

(1,735)

(9,137)

At 31 March 2019

162,017

41,742

203,759

 

Included in the above amounts are projects stated at net realisable value of £88,266,000 (28 February 2018: £79,565,000).

Net realisable value has been estimated by the Directors, taking account of the plans for each project, the planning status and competitive position of each asset, and the anticipated market for the scheme. For material developments, the Directors have consulted with third-party chartered surveyors in setting their market assumptions.

 

Interest of £3,184,000 (28 February 2018: £1,740,000) was capitalised on development and trading properties during the period. Capitalised interest included within the carrying value of such properties on the Balance Sheet is £5,837,000 (28 February 2018: £5,354,000).

 

9 Financial liabilities

Borrowings

 

28 February 2018

£'000

CURRENT

 

 

Bank overdrafts

-

-

Current instalments due on bank loans

804

1,034

Current loans maturing

37,084

62,550

Unamortised transaction costs

(375)

 

63,209

 

 

 

28 February 2018

£'000

NON-CURRENT

 

 

Bank loans and loan notes

143,889

109,143

Unamortised transaction costs

(1,168)

 

107,975

 

Bank loans are secured by way of mortgages and legal charges on certain properties and cash deposits held by the Group.

 

10 Note to the cash flow statement

Reconciliation of profit before income tax to net cash inflow/(outflow) from operating activities:

 

 

31 March 2019

£'000

28 February 2018

£'000

Profit before income tax

6,320

48,172

Adjustments for:

 

 

Loss/(gain) on disposal of investment properties

223

(3,324)

Loss on revaluation of property portfolio

11,165

2,417

Other income

-

(2,089)

Share of post-tax profits of joint ventures and associates

(12,128)

(16,175)

Profit from sale of investment

(3,888)

(6,713)

Loss/(profit) on sale of other plant and equipment

42

(5)

Finance income

(617)

(94)

Finance cost

6,432

9,783

Depreciation of property, plant and equipment

885

960

Operating cash flows before movements in working capital

8,434

32,932

Decrease/(increase) in development and trading properties

3,680

(10,037)

Decrease/(increase) in receivables

45,635

(57,042)

(Decrease)/increase in payables

(23,940)

33,696

(Decrease)/increase in provisions

(2,247)

240

Cash flows generated from/(used in) operating activities

31,562

(211)

 

 

Analysis of movement in net debt

 

 

31 March 2019

 

28 February 2018

 

Net debt

 £'000

 

Cash and

deposits

£'000

Borrowings

£'000

Net debt

 £'000

At 1 March

52,099

(171,184)

(119,085)

 

51,271

(172,125)

(120,854)

Cash flow

(11,347)

(7,780)

(19,127)

 

840

2,419

3,259

Foreign currency exchange movements

-

1,035

1,035

 

(12)

(1,497)

(1,509)

Non-cash movements

(1,827)

 

-

19

19

At 31 March/28 February

(139,004)

 

52,099

(171,184)

(119,085)

 

11 Contingent liabilities

In the normal course of its development activity, the Group is required to guarantee performance bonds provided by banks in respect of certain obligations of Group companies. As at 31 March 2019, such guarantees amounted to £5,607,000 (28 February 2018: £5,543,000).

 

The Group has provided guarantees for rent liabilities in respect of properties previously occupied by Group companies. In the event that the current tenants ceased to pay rent, the Group would be liable to cover any shortfall until the building could be re-let. The Group has made provision against crystallised liabilities in this regard. In respect of potential liabilities where no provision has been made, the annual rent-roll of the buildings benefiting from such guarantees is £7,000 (28 February 2018: £7,000) with an average unexpired lease period of 67 years (28 February 2018: 68 years).

 

The Group has guaranteed its share of interest up to a maximum of £575,000 in respect of the £26,000,000 loan in Notting Hill (Guernsey Holdco) Limited.

 

12 Post balance sheet events

As at 31 March 2019, the Group had exchanged contracts on the sale of a number of assets held directly and in joint venture. These sales have since successfully completed.

 

 

 

Definitions

Operating profit: stated after loss on disposal of investment properties, the revaluation of the investment portfolio and exceptional items and before the results of associates, jointly controlled entities and finance income and costs.

 

IPD Index and Total Portfolio Return: total return from the completed investment portfolio, comprising net rental income or expenditure, capital gains or losses from disposals and revaluation surpluses or deficits, divided by the average capital employed during the financial period, as defined and measured by Investment Property Databank Limited (IPD), a company that produces independent benchmarks of property returns.

 

Total shareholder return: movement in share price over the period plus dividends paid as a percentage of the opening share price.

 

Gearing: expressed as a percentage and measured as net debt divided by total shareholders' funds.

 

Net debt: total debt less cash and short-term deposits, including cash held in restricted accounts.

 

Basic earnings per share: amounts are calculated by dividing profit or loss for the period attributable to owners of the Parent by the weighted average number of Ordinary shares outstanding during the period, excluding shares purchased by the Parent and held as treasury shares.

 

Diluted earnings per share: amounts are calculated by dividing the profit or loss attributable to owners of the Parent by the weighted average number of Ordinary shares outstanding during the period plus the weighted average number of Ordinary shares that would be issued on the conversion of all the dilutive potential Ordinary shares into Ordinary shares.

 

Basic net assets per share: amounts are calculated by dividing net assets by the number of Ordinary shares in issue at the balance sheet date excluding shares purchased by the Parent and held as treasury shares.

 

Diluted net assets per share: amounts are calculated by dividing net assets by the number of Ordinary shares in issue at the balance sheet date plus the number of Ordinary shares that would be issued on the conversion of all the dilutive potential Ordinary shares into Ordinary shares.

 

Management have chosen to disclose the European Public Real Estate (EPRA) adjusted net assets per share and earnings per share from continuing activities in order to provide an indication of the Group's underlying business performance and to assist comparison between European property companies.

 

EPRA earnings: is the profit or loss after taxation excluding investment property revaluations (including valuations of joint venture investment properties), impairment of development and trading properties, exceptional items and mark-to-market movements of derivative financial instruments (including those of joint ventures) and intangible asset movements and their related taxation.

 

EPRA net assets (EPRA NAV): are the balance sheet net assets adjusted to reflect the fair value of development and trading assets, excluding mark-to-market adjustment on effective cash flow hedges and related debt adjustments and deferred taxation on revaluations and diluting for the effect of those shares potentially issuable under employee share schemes.

 

EPRA NAV per share: is EPRA NAV divided by the number of Ordinary shares in issue at the balance sheet date.

 

EPRA triple net assets (EPRA NNNAV): is EPRA NAV adjusted to reflect the fair value of debt and derivatives and to include deferred taxation on revaluations.

 

EPRA NNNAV per share: is EPRA NNNAV divided by the number of Ordinary shares in issue at the balance sheet date.

 

 

 

 


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.
 
END
 
 
FR PGUAWAUPBGQG
Close


London Stock Exchange plc is not responsible for and does not check content on this Website. Website users are responsible for checking content. Any news item (including any prospectus) which is addressed solely to the persons and countries specified therein should not be relied upon other than by such persons and/or outside the specified countries. Terms and conditions, including restrictions on use and distribution apply.

 


Results for the 13-months ended 31 March 2019 - RNS