The Directors of Great Portland Estates plc today announce the results of the Group for the year ended 31 March 2005.
- Net assets per share up 19% to 333p (2004: 280p) on an adjusted, diluted basis
- Earnings per share 14.3p (2004:15.1p)
- Adjusted earnings per share 11.3p (2004: 12.8p)
- Dividend up 2.4% to 10.75p per share (2004: 10.5p)
- Portfolio valuation up by 9.8% on a like-for-like basis to £804 million
- Total property return 16.7% (2004: 6.1%)
- Two joint ventures set up with Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society (one since 31 March 2005), containing £230 million of property assets
- £135 million of disposals achieved at 9.4% above March 2004 values
- £116 million of acquisitions and development expenditure in the year on balance sheet, and £134 million by joint venture
- Void rate at 31 March 2005 2.6%; following completion of Met Building 6.4%
- Met Building completed on time and on budget, and 43% let
- Six new planning permissions gained; 680,000 sq ft near-term development programme
- £101.5 million of cash returned to shareholders
- High-coupon debt redeemed, lowering cost of debt to 6.3% (2004: 6.7%)
- Net gearing 49% (52% including joint venture)
Toby Courtauld, Chief Executive, commented:
"The amount of space being leased by businesses in London today is broadly in line with the long-term average and we expect this to increase during the year. Vacancy rates are falling across the market due primarily to the lack of supply coming on stream and we remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects for rental growth.
"We have had a busy and productive year and Great Portland Estates is in good shape; our development pipeline is growing and is geared to deliver quality space at good value, into an undersupplied West End market; our disposal and acquisition programmes are transforming the prospects of the Group's portfolio and producing healthy profits; our focused asset management continues to maintain a virtually fully let portfolio; our restructured balance sheet is helping to drive returns to shareholders, whilst preserving the financial flexibility we need to execute our development and acquisition programmes; and our teams are working well together to unearth further opportunities for value enhancement. We face the future with confidence."
Source: Great Portland Estates