Minerva plc, the FTSE 250 property company, announced yesterday its preliminary results for the 12 months ended 30th June 2004.
- Net asset value per share increased by 19.6% to 379.5p (2003: 317.2p).
- Net rental income increased by 10% to £52.5 million (2003: £47.6 million).
- Cash reserves of £103.9 million at 30 June 2004 (2003: £141.2 million).
- Profit before tax of £1.2 million from Minerva’s core real estate business (2003: £0.9 million).
- After the effect of including Minerva’s share of the joint venture in Scarlett Retail, the loss after tax for the year was £21.4 million.
- At the year end, the carrying value of Minerva’s investment in Scarlett Retail is £13.9 million, equivalent to 8.7 pence per share.
- Dividend for the year increased by 1.6% to 3.20 pence per share (2003: 3.15 pence).
During the year the Group:
- Obtained detailed planning consent for The Minerva Building, which comprises a 1 million sq. ft. prime office development in The City of London, designed by British architects, Grimshaw. Having entered into the Section 106 Agreement and having secured vacant possession, this development is now capable of implementation.
Obtained detailed planning consent for Park Place, Croydon, which comprises a 1 million sq. ft. town centre shopping development, designed by RTKL. Detailed planning consent was granted in May, alongside the Section 106 Agreement with Croydon Council. Croydon Council has resolved to use its compulsory purchase powers to acquire those third party interests necessary to commence development in 2006.
- Acquired the Allders department store in Croydon for £48.825 million. The property is subject to a leaseback to Allders Department Stores Limited for an unexpired term of 31 years at a net annual rent of £3.4 million. The Development Agreement provides for Allders’ future relocation as part of the Park Place development.
- Sold The Brooks shopping centre, Winchester realising a book profit of £0.5 million.
Since the year-end McKinsey & Co’s rent review at The Criterion has been agreed at a new rent of £5.4 million per annum, an increase of £0.375 million per annum.
On 12 July 2004, the Group announced that it had received a number of approaches which may or may not lead to an offer for the Company. The Board has received a number of proposals which it is currently reviewing with its financial advisers.
Andrew Rosenfeld, Chief Executive of Minerva, said:
'During the year we have been successful in obtaining planning consent for our City office tower development, The Minerva Building and our major retail development, Park Place, Croydon. We now have planning consent for all three of our current development projects which also includes The Walbrook, located in the heart of The City of London. These developments combine well with our London based investment portfolio which has also benefited from an improving Central London occupational and investment market.”
As a consequence of wide ranging measures implemented by Terry Green, Phil Cox and their new management team aimed at providing a stable base for future growth, an improvement in the trading performance of Allders is anticipated.
Terry Green, Chief Executive of Allders, said:
“In the period since acquisition, we have undertaken a fundamental review of the business including a complete reorganisation of the buying function and the recruitment of a new and experienced retail team. The speed with which this transformation has been effected has had an impact on the short term profitability of the business. However, by addressing these requirements quickly Allders is better placed for a faster recovery. We are confident that the benefits from having refocused product ranges and relaying stores will begin to come through from the Autumn.”