Tuesday, January 10, 2017

News: Harworth ahead of expectations


The board of Rotherham-based developer Harworth Group plc believes that financial performance for the year ended December 31 2016 will be ahead of its expectations.

In a trading update, the specialist in brownfield regeneration said that it had delivered further strong operational performance in the second half of the year.

The indicative outcome of an independent annual valuation of its property portfolio is also set to put value gains (revaluation gains and profit on disposal) significantly ahead of expectations.

One of the largest property and regeneration companies across the North of England and the Midlands, 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.

Profit from operations is anticipated to be in line with expectations for the year and Group Net Asset Value (NAV) as is anticipated to be moderately ahead of expectations.


The update highlighted a number of disposals during the second half of the year including site disposals above book value such as the sale of 43.7 acres at Logistics North to Lidl for £22.5m in December and the sale of land for 284 residential plots in aggregate to Taylor Wimpey, Harron Homes and Arch, the Northumberland economic development company.

Disposals of over £9m of agricultural land have also been made to improve the group's focus on sites with greater value enhancement potential.

The group has also made a number of acquisitions as part of its strategy to strengthen its income portfolio.

Owen Michaelson, chief executive at Haworth, said: "The Group had a positive first half of the year as highlighted at the time of our interim results in September 2016. This momentum has continued into the remainder of the year and results are now expected to exceed expectations, with sales above book value and good progress on planning and lettings driving the improvement to the valuation of our portfolio.

"This position reflects the underlying strength of our business and reinforces the Group's confidence in the long-term fundamentals of the regional markets in which we operate."

It its interim results for the half year ended 30 June 2016, the group reported that revenue from operations rose to £17.4m compared to £4.2m in the first half of 2015. This was largely as a result of forward funding at its Logistics North development. Profit before tax was £7.4m.

The group is hoping to raise interest by holding a capital markets day in London at the end of the month. It should provide analysts and investors an update on the group's strategy and developments in the market.

At Waverley, plans are coming forward from Avant Homes, their first on the regenerated former site of the Orgreave coking works.

Harworth Group plc website

Images: Harworth


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