St Modwen has reported a whopping 68% increase in profit before tax to £138.1m, up from £82.2m last year.
The company smashed analyst forecasts for the year to 30 November 2014, in what were record figures for the group.
Shareholders’ NAV per share has leapt 17% to 324.9p compared to 278.8p last time, and EPRA NAV per share up 16% to 344.2p. Earnings per share were up 57% to 52.7p. Profits on property were up 45% to £57.7m, compared to £39.8m in 2013.
During the year the St Modwen’s debt portfolio was fully refinanced with earliest maturity now 2018, and the group launched a £100m convertible bond.
Investors will benefit from a 15% rise in the total dividend for the year to 4.6p per share.
Highlights for 2014 included an overall valuation increase of £90m, comprising gains of £32m as a result of planning and asset management initiatives and £58m market-driven valuation gain.
The group also saw significant milestones completed across all major projects. At New Covent Garden Market there was a resolution to grant planning in November 2014, and unconditional status is targeted in the first half of 2015. At the former MG Rover car plant in Longbridge, Birmingham, the group claimed excellent progress has been made across the scheme with construction of the Marks & Spencer 150,000 sq ft new flagship store now well underway and on schedule to complete in time for Christmas 2015 trading
At Bay Campus, Swansea University St Modwen signed a development agreement with the university for an additional 545 student apartments and new student facilities. Forward sold 50% of the apartments to M&G Investments for the M&G Secured Property Income Fund for £20m. Meanwhile, housebuilding activities delivered a 167% increase in residential profits to £24m.
Bill Oliver, chief executive of St. Modwen, said: “This has been an exceptional year for St. Modwen and we have achieved significant progress across all of our major projects as well as increasing our active pipeline of commercial development opportunities to over 3m sq ft of space. The residential part of the business continues to perform well with good sales rates achieved throughout the year and we anticipate a sustained performance into 2015.
“Across the UK, we continued to grow the business, capitalising on the upturn in the regional property market and we look forward to continuing this level of success throughout the coming year.”
St Modwen’s share rose 2p to 420.2p i early trading.