Regional schemes boost St Modwen profits

North West projects contributed to a successful year for St Modwen, the developer said, as its annual results showed a £60.5m profit for the year 2018.

St Modwen said there has been significant progress on a number of key schemes in the region, including Crosby Village and Skelmersdale town centre as well as the start of new projects such as Chamberhall Business Park in Bury, where phase one was consented in January.

In Crosby, St Modwen has invested in the refurbishment of the Glenn Buildings North and South and development of 10 Moor Lane. Completing in March 2018, the scheme has let well since, with October seeing Village Vets Formby and the Aesthetics Hub following early deals including Costa.

The Midlands-headquartered developer has moved forward its Skelmersdale proposals after West Lancashire Borough Council secured £19m funding for the scheme, which includes a new retail park and improvements to the public realm. Lidl and B&M have been secured.

In Kirkby, demolition and enabling works were completed to prepare the site for construction of the new Morrisons and 76,000 sq ft of additional retail space, while asset management of the existing centre saw deals with Specsavers, Costa and a new pub.

Guy Gusterson, property director Midlands and North, Modwen, said: “We have made some significant progress across the North West region in the past year.

“We have some strategic sites across the region and it is encouraging to see progress at this rate. Industrial and logistics is now the largest segment of our national income portfolio and this is reflected in the region as we move forward with the next phase of  Stonebridge Business Park, 50,000 sq ft of speculatively built industrial warehouse space called Stonebridge 52 in Liverpool.

“Placemaking and regeneration is at the heart of our purpose and all that we do; our expertise in regeneration sets us apart from our competitors in delivering our commercial and residential schemes, as well as our key development projects.”

The wider story for St Modwen showed a shift in focus, with more than half the retail portfolio sold on for £177m, described as less than 1% below book value; while industrial and logistics grew, with the firm’s pipeline growing by 50% and planning secured on 2.1m sq ft of space.

Residential also grew, with homes sold climbing by 22% to 848, while 49 acres were sold to third party housebuilders.

Chief executive Mark Allan said that despite the ongoing uncertainty in the wider UK economy, structural growth drivers in industrial and housing remain positive, meaning “we are now well placed to deliver a meaningful improvement in our return on capital and earnings in the coming years”.

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