The Hive leisure centre in Widnes

St Modwen positive on reaching targets

The developer said within an end of year trading update that it expects its annual results to be on target.

St Modwen, which has a regional office in Warrington, said profits, property valuations, and net asset values are all expected to be in line with management targets and will show "healthy year-on-year growth".

The firm said it has continued to perform well since the interim management statement was issued on 30 September 2010.

Rental revenues have increased by 6% to £46m a year and during the year the company had completed over 270 new lettings and renewals.

St Modwen said it had maintained rental levels and had reduced its voids across the portfolio to 12%, compared to 17% in November 2009.

St Modwen added that the residential sector is showing signs of increased activity with over 70% of its portfolio either secured with planning permission or allocated within local plans.

However, the firm said the commercial market remains uncertain but its regional teams continue to find opportunities to generate value and its near term pipeline of development continues to grow.

For example, St Modwen has started on site with its £10m Venture Fields Leisure Development at Widnes Waterfront. Developed in conjunction with Halton Council, St Modwen said the 100,000 sq ft scheme is already 96% pre-let and will provide up to 150 new jobs for the area. Morgan Sindall was appointed by the joint venture to build the centre.

St Modwen also said its renewal dates for the majority of its existing bank facilities have been extended to 2014/2015, with no changes to the existing terms and conditions.

Bill Oliver, chief executive of St Modwen, said: "The outlook for St Modwen remains positive, both in terms of profit and net asset value growth. We continue to capitalise on our ability to actively manage and progress our development projects across the UK. This and our strong forward position of pre-lets and pre-sales gives us confidence in our future growth."

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