Tuesday, January 9, 2018

News: Harworth momentum continues

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Full year results at Rotherham-based Harworth Estates, one of the largest property and regeneration companies across the North of England and the Midlands, are set to exceed expectations.

One of South Yorkshire's largest publicly listed companies delivered strong operational performance in the second half of the year across all its business segments.

Harworth has a business model based on reinvesting capital in acquisitions having created capital growth through planning approvals, remediation and development, and generated income through asset management and land sales.

The focus has been on "beds and sheds" sectors and the portfolio value and other value gains are anticipated to be appreciably ahead of expectations. In its interim report 2017, Harworth Group had assets and developments worth £410.9m.

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The board, which will be chaired by Alastair Lyons CBE from April, said that the performance was boosted by gaining planning consents, increasing land values from recent purchases and good progress on lettings.

Disposals also created healthy profits. This included the sale of land for over 600 residential plots, including two land parcels totalling 13.87 acres to regional housebuilders at Waverley, Rotherham during December for a total in excess of £11m.

The period also saw the group invest all of the £27.1m raised in equity placing into five sites and the update added that around half of Harworth's planned 2018 sales have already been agreed.

Owen Michaelson, chief executive officer of Harworth Group plc (pictured, left), said: "The group had a strong first half of the year as highlighted in our interim results. This momentum has continued into the second half, with full year results anticipated to exceed our expectations. Sales on consented land at our key development sites have been achieved at above book value and good progress on planning and lettings has driven the growth in the valuation of our portfolio. This includes progress at Riverdale Park in Doncaster, where we have realised an engineered land sale above book value less than two years after we purchased the site.

"This robust position reflects the underlying strength of our business model and the ability of our management team to deliver the majority of our value gains. We remain confident in the long-term fundamentals of the residential and commercial markets in the North of England and the Midlands. This in turn gives us the assurance we need to continue to invest in new sites to deliver future shareholder value."

One scheme being led by Harworth is the ambitious £55m plan to open up and develop the Dearne Valley A61/6195 Growth Corridor. Gateway 36 is being backed by the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Barnsley Council.

Harworth Group website

Images: Harworth Group

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