Financial highlights: added value to shareholders 20.0%, up 7.2%, based on increase in adjusted NAV per share and distributions in the year (19.9% based on statutory NAV up 4.8%; adjusted Net Asset Value (NAV) per share 516.6 pence, up 15.9% (Statutory NAV per share 508.5 pence up 15.8%). Profit before tax Â£18.8 million up 6.8%.
Intended distribution by way of a tender offer buy-back of 1 in 41 shares at 485 pence being 11.8 pence per share making a total distribution to shareholders of 19.3 pence per share for the year, up 12.9%.
Property portfolio (including share of JVs) valued at Â£1.02 billion up 11.3%.
Net rental income (including associates and JVs) Â£67.5 million up 5.8%. Year end cash Â£56.7million (2003: Â£56.7 million).
- Letting of 24,100 sq m (259,412 sq ft) in Solna, Stockholm to ICA, Scandinaviaâs largest food retailer.
- Unrealised gains from three equity investments that were listed in the year amounted to Â£12.4 million. The gain has not been booked and does not feature in our financial results as the investments continue to be held at the lower of cost and net realisable value.
- Acquisition of seven new properties, two in the UK, four in France and one in Luxembourg at a cost of Â£38.2 million.
- One Leicester Square fully let to four tenants, including MTV, at a rental of Â£1.7 million p a.
- Sale of Seine Defense, Paris for Â£7.4 million (â¬11.0 million) at a profit of Â£0.5 million.
- Financing of property assets raised Â£111.3 million.
After the year end
- Pre-let of close to 18,500 sq m (200,000 sq ft) at London Bridge Tower to Shangri-La hotel group for 30 years without a break.
Introduction I am very pleased to report that the Company has performed well during 2004. Our financial results are discussed in detail in the Financial Review and therefore I will highlight only the principal figures here. Adjusted net asset value per share has increased by 15.9% to 516.6 pence (Statutory NAV per share increased by 15.8% to 508.5 pence) and profit before taxation increased by 6.8% to Â£18.8 million. Furthermore significant progress has been made during the year in planning and re-developing a number of our properties the benefit of which has not yet been fully reflected in our reported results for 2004, however this work has laid solid foundations to further strengthen the Groupâs position.
In particular, progress has been made in the UK including a substantial pre-let of nearly 18,500 sq m (200,000 sq ft) of space at London Bridge Tower to the Shangri-La hotel group.
In Sweden a major pre-let took place whereby 24,100 sq m (259,412 sq ft) of offices and retail space at Solna, Stockholm was let to ICA, Scandinaviaâs largest food retailer. The letting, which was one of the largest in Sweden in recent years comprises 14,700 sq m (158,230 sq ft) of office space let for just under twelve years and 9,400 sq m (101,182 sq ft) of retail space let for fifteen years. ICA is due to take occupation and commence rental payments on the newly re-furbished space this Summer.
Our asset portfolio in continental Europe has been further strengthened by five new acquisitions in France and Luxembourg at favourable yields and at a cost of Â£30.8 million.
The performance of our equity investments has shown a significant improvement in the year, principally due to the successful flotations on AIM in London of Amino Technologies Plc and Clearspeed Technology Plc, and Note AB on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Although these three investments produced an unrealised surplus of Â£12.4 million at 31 December 2004, the gain has not yet been reflected in our results. The market value of our equity investments held as current assets, is Â£22.9 million. These investments are carried in our books at Â£10.5 million, at the lower of cost and net realisable value. We believe that ther