STRONG START TO THE YEAR WITH FURTHER MOMENTUM IN THE COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL MARKETPLACE
St. Modwen Properties PLC (LSE: SMP), the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, is pleased to announce that the business has continued its strong performance since the start of the financial year, with a growing pipeline of development opportunities, and profits and cashflows in line with our expectations.
We have continued to secure a steady stream of sales across all of the St. Modwen Homes and the Persimmon joint venture sites, particularly as we head into the Spring selling season. Together, we have completed on the sale of 180 units in the financial year to date which compares to 35 units during the same period last year. Coupled with the schemes’ location and the quality of product, this reflects a sustained increase in consumer confidence and the continued success of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme for which we welcome the recent announcement to extend the initiative until 2020.
The market for our residential land also remains buoyant, with strong demand from housebuilders looking to increase their sales outlets.
As indicated in our results for the year ended 30th November 2013, we are also seeing ongoing improvement in the commercial market, and our major projects continue to gather momentum, with an increase in enquiries across our sites and occupancy levels remaining high. We are experiencing sustained growth in London, the South West and in the Midlands and expect this to continue throughout the year.
In February we successfully launched an offering of £100m of unsecured Guaranteed Convertible Bonds due 2019. The offering increases the longevity of the Company’s debt on attractive terms, strengthens the balance sheet and supports our wider financial strategy to diversify the Company’s sources of funding. The proceeds of the bond have been used to repay existing debt, enabling us to drive the Company’s ongoing business growth, including its increasingly active development and housebuilding pipeline.
Bill Oliver, Chief Executive, St. Modwen, commented:
“Following a strong set of full year results, we are already enjoying a good start to the year. This has been further supported by our successful convertible bond offering, which demonstrates a growing confidence amongst our existing and new investors.
“As the year progresses, we expect the ongoing improvement in the residential and commercial markets to continue. And, having further strengthened our balance sheet, we are very well placed to drive further growth of the business, using our considerable in-house expertise to bring forward high-quality development land, both for sale and for development ourselves.
“We remain firmly focused on generating value for our shareholders through our multi-faceted regeneration activities and active approach to asset management.”