City Tower in Manchester

Values down but profits rise at Bruntwood

Bruntwood boosted turnover by 11.5% to £97m and saw operating profit rise 9.5% to £12.6m in the year to the end of September 2009.

Chris Oglesby, Bruntwood's chief executive, said: "Against a very difficult economic backdrop, I am proud of the way our team at Bruntwood have, once again, responded in delivering another very good set of results. Property values may have fallen in response to the investment market but the underlying fundamentals in our business continue to improve, as evidenced by the 9.5% increase in profit before tax up to £12.6m."

A full revaluation of the portfolio was carried out by Knight Frank in September 2009 and Bruntwood's fixed assets now stand at £912m. This figure is down 7% on last year and is the first time in the company's 30 year history it has seen a reduction in its property values.

Oglesby said: "Whilst a drop in our property values was not unexpected, our conservative approach to valuations at the top of the market has meant they have held up exceptionally well. Our September year-end was at what we believe to be the bottom of the market. Since then, there has been a considerable rally in property values and I am confident we will see the value of Bruntwood's portfolio grow again in our 2010 financial year. That said, more important to us as a business is income, the true value that we are creating via the lettings we achieve. In this respect, the business remains incredibly healthy with rental income being 216% of our interest costs.

"Our performance through the economic downturn, allied to the feedback we get from our customers and business partners, reinforces our belief that we have a great business model and a great team. 2010 is likely to be a year when Bruntwood start to invest again in expansion and we look forward to the year confident and enthusiastic with, as ever, our customers at the heart of everything we do."

Bruntwood owns 90 buildings in Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and is now expanding into Birmingham, where it bought the McLaren building in 2008. The company refinanced at the start of 2007 with a £440m commercial mortgage backed securitisation against half of its assets.

Total borrowing is £570m against value of £912m; giving a loan to value ratio of 62%, which Bruntwood said was "a very positive result" at the bottom of the market.

Your Comments

If their debt is £440m against half of their assets does this suggest a debt of £880m against their total assets of £912m. If so arent LTV’s a big tight at the mighty Bruntwood. Assume "Operating Profits" got wiped out against property writedowns!! Still a dominant force in any event!


does it really follow that way? i thought bruntwood gearing was below 50% always. the other half of the portfolio needn’t have any debt. not the same debt…?

By Mush

Bruntwood’s LTV is 56% – their financials are on their web-site. They are in a very strong position.


line added from Bruntwood to clarify – ed

By ed

With stated turnover from rental income and assuming decent 2007 rates on their securitised debt, interest cover of 216% would suggest a far larger senior debt position. Like all private prop co’s only they will know their true LTV position!

By Loco

Does anyone really believe we have reached the bottom of the investment market. What happens when the big banks have to realise the Billions of poor assets they have on their balance sheet…..lets see how people value things then, God knows its not an exact science.

By Optimist

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