Monday, March 6, 2017

News: Harworth's strong set of results

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Rotherham-based Harworth Group, one of the largest property and regeneration companies across the North of England and the Midlands, has posted a set of full year results with profits and net asset value (NAV) ahead of expectations.

The specialist in brownfield regeneration has released its results for the year ending December 31 2016 which saw operating profit hit £45.8m, compared to £37.9m at the same time last year. Profit from operations was up to £2.2m from the £1.5m posted in 2015.

Harworth is based close to its own flagship development at Waverley. Its extensive portfolio consists of a total of around 22,000 acres across 140 sites. Harworth Group plc was created through the complex restructure of what was UK Coal.

NAV has grown by 12.5% to £334.9m at the end of 2016, up from £297.7m in 2015. This is ahead of the board's ambition of increasing net asset value (NAV) by at least 10% per annum through the property cycle.

The core strategy for the listed firm is to grow and realise value from its extensive land bank, much of which derives from heritage coalfield portfolio, supplemented by a range of land and property acquisitions in the North and Midlands over the past two years.

Six acquisitions were completed during the year, for a total of £31.6m and four further option agreements have been entered into to acquire strategic land sites that extend to approximately 228 acres, comprising a mixture of potential residential and commercial sites located in core regions.

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Harworth has extensive experience in remediating and developing large used sites for future use for commercial and residential purposes. Not least at Waverley in Rotherham.

Owen Michaelson, chief executive at Harworth plc, said: "These are a strong set of results, reflecting our continued focus on maximising the value of our strategic land bank whilst simultaneously growing our income base through new lettings and acquisitions. We are particularly pleased by the progress made and value uplift we have seen from our flagship North West site, Logistics North in Bolton, and are pleased to have improved the quality of our income base over the year. We have a proven strategy to create value and the market fundamentals in our regions remain strong, giving us confidence in the future."

Key deals for the year include Whistl taking a ten-year lease at Logistics North and the sale of the next phase of 4.7 acres of engineered housing land at Waverley to Avant Homes for £2.5m.

At the end of 2016, the Group entered into a joint venture agreement with Dransfield Properties Limited for a 50% share of Waverley Square Limited - with plans progressing for £50m Rotherham retail development.

Harworth said in the results that it would prioritise capital investment on sites with the largest value enhancement potential, including the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, Logistics North in Bolton and Gateway 45 in Leeds, to ensure that both land and property is available for immediate occupation.

Harworth plc

Images: Harworth


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