Profits up in Langtree’s second post-buyout year

Warrington company Langtree Property Partners has announced a £2.1m annual pre-tax profit in its second full year of operation since the 2015 management buyout led by group managing director John Downes.

Turnover in this second year reached £9.5m as the business expanded its management operations and stepped up work on joint ventures. In its first year, the group declared a £300,000 profit. It said that the increase in profit was partly attributable to a one-off item, namely the disposal of an unnamed asset in the North West.

Net asset value has increased 250% since the 2015 deal and the company’s headcount now stands at 35 staff. Along with development at the Techspace project at Sci-Tech Daresbury, much of the growth can be put down to an increase in the number of properties under management for pension and investment funds.

Chairman Tim Johnston said: “We set out to demonstrate to the market that we could quickly mature into an established and well-run operation and our latest figures demonstrate that we have achieved that ambition. By focusing on our joint ventures we have been able to deliver new products whilst building an extremely robust pipeline of development opportunities.

“We’re now managing more than 2.3m sq ft of assets, worth more than £200m, and looking after the interests of more than 450 tenants. It’s a tremendous credit to all the team that they’ve accommodated this growth so successfully.”

The company’s asset base extends across the North West, Midlands and Yorkshire handling a rent roll of more than £15m a year. Langtree Property Partners began trading in June 2015, and was formed following the acquisition of four joint venture public sector development partnerships from Bill Ainscough’s Langtree Group, now known as Network Space.

In its first year results, it reported a rent roll of £12m from 1.9m sq ft of assets under management worth £130m.

Langtree has joint ventures with councils in Oldham, where the first deal at the £35m Hollinwood Junction was announced last week; St Helens, with which it has plans for 1m sq ft at the former Parkside colliery; Warrington – where the JV has £8.4m of assets in the Southern Gateway;  and Halton, where its JV to develop and manage Sci-Tech Daresbury also includes the Science & Technology Facilities Council.

Over the course of the year, a total of £705,000 was charged to the joint venture vehicles in Warrington, St Helens and Daresbury for development management, as outlined in the respective development agreements. This represented an increase from £529,000 in 2016.

On behalf of fund manager PGIM Real Estate, Langtree now manages 22 industrial estates, including Lyntown Trading Estate in Salford, acquired in May, and Transpennine Trading Estate in Rochdale. Warrington Council is another key property management client.

At Daresbury, Langtree said that Techspace One has now attracted its first tenants, including a Hitachi business, and that Techspace Two is 50% let. The next phase of Techspace, billed as Project Violet, is now commissioned and will bring a further 50,000 sq ft across three buildings.

Downes said: “The property market is in good shape but there are always headwinds and our approach remains a conservative one. The partnerships and joint ventures that we have in place give us tremendous stability and a base from which we can plan our growth. We remain open to new joint ventures with local authorities but will be very selective about those opportunities we pursue.”

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