St Modwen posts half-year loss
The regeneration firm, which developed projects across the North West including Chamberhall Business Park in Bury, reported a loss of £134.5m in the six months to 31 May, attributed to asset revaluations and the impact of the pandemic.
The loss compares to a £23.1m pre-tax profit in the same period of last year.
Almost half (43%) of the loss was due to writedowns in asset valuations of large, complex sites in Wales, St Modwen Properties said in a filing to the London Stoxk Exchange, where its shares are traded.
The company’s net asset value per share fell 13% to 423.1p, and it cut its interim dividend to 1.1p, down from a proposed 3.6p.
St Modwen Properties has acquired and redeveloped mixed-use schemes across the region, including Crosby Village outside Liverpool, the last asset of which it sold in May, and parcels of land in Kirkby, which it is regenerating with the local council.
In the filing, St Modwen said it sold 280 units in the six-month period, down from 411 in the first half of 2019, “reflecting a pause in build activity during lockdown”.
The company said it is on track to deliver 1.2m sq ft of new space this year on the back of “strong demand”, and is preparing to grow its committed pipeline to around 1.5m sq ft in 2021 with further potential in a 19m sq ft pipeline beyond 2021.
Rob Hudson, interim chief executive of St Modwen, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, our focus has been on protecting our people and customers and preserving our strong financial position.
“While our results for the half year reflect the disruption of the crisis, our decisive actions have worked to rebuild the momentum achieved over recent years, with strong demand for industrial and logistics space and new homes.”
He added: “Although the wider economic outlook will remain uncertain for some time to come, structural growth trends in these key markets for us remain positive
“With our proven strategy and solid balance sheet, we stand well placed for future growth.”