National commercial property and investment company LCP has announced record results for the financial year ending March 31 2018.
The annual strategic report by West Midlands based company, one of the UK’s largest private owners of industrial, retail and office property to let, has recorded a pre-tax profits of £135.5m, up by 60% on the previous year.
Nick Burgess, LCP managing director, said: “This has been another exceptional year for the Group as we continue to invest in acquisitions and to improve and develop our existing portfolio.
“We pride ourselves on ensuring that we intensively manage our properties, with dedicated asset managers working closely with local communities and tenants to deliver the highest standards.
“This approach means that our occupancy levels are high. Last year, we maintained occupancy levels of 94% in our industrial portfolio and 93% in retail.
“It’s not just our properties we are investing in: we have also grown the number of asset managers and in-house solicitors so that we can better serve our growing demand.
“We are in a very good position to continue our programme of growth, acquiring suitable properties that have the best opportunities to strengthen our return on investment.”
The annual report records that underlying profits – which exclude the impact of valuations of investment property and financial instruments, profits on disposal of investment property, exchange differences and specific one-off costs and income – grew by 18% to £58 million, up from £49.1 million in 2017.
Turnover grew by 7% to £121.4 million. In the UK, turnover grew by 4% to £96.8 million, due to acquisitions in its target markets and improving tenant demand, particularly in the industrial sector.
In Continental Europe, turnover grew by 20% to £24.6 million due to acquisitions in the retail sector, the re-opening of the EMKA Shopping Centre in Koszalin, Poland, following a successful refurbishment and the favourable impact of foreign exchange movements.
Other highlights include:
- Group investment property increasing to £1.41 billion (up from £1.26 billion in 2017);
- Valuation gains of £63.9 million, which represents an uplift of 5%, reflecting ongoing asset management initiatives, positive rental growth and yield compression, particularly in the industrial sector;
- Group acquisitions of property totalling £59.7 million, predominantly where it saw opportunities to add value in the retail sector. £22.2 million was in the UK and £37.5 million in Continental Europe;
- Additional investment of £25 million to upgrade and improve the existing portfolio, including ongoing works to create Prime Point, its speculative development of 130,000 sq ft of industrial space at its flagship Pensnett Estate.