Wednesday, January 31, 2024

News: Harworth makes progress towards becoming £1bn business

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Harworth Group plc, the Rotherham-based leading regenerator of land and property for sustainable development and investment, has reported on robust performance in 2023 and strong momentum into 2024.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Harworth is based close to its flagship Waverley development and is a specialist in brownfield regeneration, owning and managing approximately 15,000 acres on around 100 sites in the North of England and the Midlands.

Based close to its flagship Waverley development, the firm has an ambitious strategy to reach £1bn of EPRA NDV over five to seven years. EPRA NDV is how Harworth measures the value of the its assets.

In a trading update in respect of its financial year ended 31 December 2023, ahead of the announcement of its Full Year Results on 19 March 2024, Harworth said that EPRA NDV would be slightly ahead of current market consensus as the result of management actions undertaken on development sites to unlock high value uses, and positive progress with planning applications, which have underpinned valuation gains.

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Lynda Shillaw, Chief Executive at Harworth Group plc, said: “Harworth had a strong 2023 and delivered another robust performance. The unique combination of our extensive landbank and applying our specialist skillset to identify and realise the highest value from each of our sites saw us complete serviced land and property sales at prices in line with, or ahead of, book values, achieve lettings ahead of estimated rental values, and progress sites through the planning system, all against an uncertain market backdrop.

“Since re-listing in 2015, Harworth has doubled its EPRA NDV. The progress made across our portfolio in 2023 has meant that our year-end valuation is slightly ahead of expectations, moving us closer to our strategic ambition of becoming a £1bn business by 2027.

“As we enter 2024, there are some signs of optimism in the macro environment whilst our key markets remain characterised by structural undersupply. We are encouraged that we are seeing continued good demand into the new year for our serviced residential land as well as occupier interest in our employment sites. This, combined with our long-term through-the-cycle approach, our low loan-to-value and significant financial liquidity means that as well as securing and progressing opportunities to deliver long-term value to investors, we are well positioned to take the management actions that will generate further value gains from our portfolio in the year ahead.”

The update also discussed progress at Waverley and the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), which is in Rotherham.

During 2023, Harworth completed development of 110,000 sq. ft of Grade A space at Gateway 36 in Barnsley and 83,000 sq. ft at the AMP in Rotherham, which is 39% is let, exchanged or in heads of terms.

Work is also underway on a further 187,000 sq. ft of space at the AMP, comprising two pre-let units and one build-to-suit unit that will be owned by its occupier. Harworth said that this underscores the location’s popularity and the company's flexible approach to development.

At the heart of a new South Yorkshire Investment Zone, the first in the UK, newcomers to the AMP will inlcude: global steel business Danieli; Technicut, the UK’s largest cutting tool manufacturer, and; Vulcan Engineering Limited - a specialist in the production of mechanical seals and encapsulated ‘o’-rings.

On the housing development at Waverley a number of land deals have been announced with housebuilders with Harworth also reporting a robust pipeline for further residential plot sales in the months ahead.

Harworth website

Images: Harworth / Knight Frank

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