National commercial property and investment company LCP has announced another record year for the financial year ending 31 March 2019, following 12 months of complementary acquisitions, particularly in the retail sector.
The Group of companies has recorded a 6% increase in underlying profits to £61.4m, while turnover is also up 7% on the previous year at £129.7m.
The annual strategic report also reveals that it completed £56.1m of acquisitions, including a record £50.4m in Continental Europe.
The value of its entire portfolio increased to £1,469.3m, up by 4% on the previous year, with a valuation uplift of 1.5%, which comes largely from rental increases and yield compression in the industrial sector, as well as positive asset management, particularly in its local convenience retail portfolio.
Nick Burgess, Managing Director of LCP, one of the UK’s largest private owners of industrial, retail and office property, said: “the last financial year was yet another exceptional year for the Group and we are well placed to take advantage of changing consumer habits.”
“Our growing portfolio offers opportunities for distribution operations serving local demand as well as retail convenience retail at the heart of the community. As we look to continue investing in this sector, our intensive management approach will result in improved facilities and increased lettings, bringing more variety for local shoppers.”
“We are in an excellent position to continue our programme of growth, acquiring suitable properties that have the best opportunities to strengthen our return on investment.”
He said the Group’s continued focus on investing in local convenience retail sector was a strong driver for success, while its talented team of asset managers also looked to improve and increase existing space particularly in the industrial sector.
- Occupancy levels remained strong, averaging 93% in the industrial portfolio and 92% in retail.
- Strong growth in Continental Europe, where turnover is up by 17% to £28.9m and underlying profits up by 15% to £8.8m.
- Additional investment of £21m, which includes the speculative expansion of Prime Point at its flagship Pensnett Estate, in the West Midlands.
- Through the efficient management of financing costs, the Group has reduced its cost of debt to 3.1% and improved interest cover to 4.6 times. Net debt increased by £0.5m with the loan to value ratio falling to 49%.