Back to pre-recession level
Investors stocked up on shares of Big Yellow Group in July after the storage company announced improved occupancy growth across its portfolio in the first half of its financial year.
The group achieved occupancy growth of 250,000 square feet (sq ft) across all stores in the six months to September 30th, versus growth of 209,000 sq ft in the corresponding period of last year.
Average occupancy growth per store of 3,900 sq ft was an improvement on 2010′s half-year growth of 3,400 sq ft per store.
That fed through to an increase in revenue to £32.65m from £31.13m at the half-year stage last year.
Revenue per available square foot (REVPAF) across the wholly owned portfolio, including the 68,000 sq ft store at Eltham, London, which opened in April 2011, increased from the same period last year by 4.4% to £19.33 (2010: £18.52).
The REVPAF for the group’s 32 established stores for the quarter to 30 September 2011 (£23.36) has returned to the levels the company saw in the quarter to 30 June 2007, before the UK went into recession.
Statutory profit before tax dipped to £6.44m from £8.59m the year before, but that excludes a £9.5m gain on the change in the value of interest rate swaps; last year, the gain was only £7.7m.
Offsetting the gain on interest rate swaps was a £4.36m hit on the revaluation of investment properties, versus a charge of £6.64m hit last year.
Once all one-off items have been accounted for, adjusted profit before tax rose to £11.6m, up 20% from the £9.7m at the interim stage last year.
Adjusted net assets per share edged up 1.7% to 457.5p at the end of September from 449.8p at the end of March.
Shares in Big Yellow were trading at 232p, up 14p, a couple of hours after the results were announced.
Nicholas Vetch, executive chairman of Big Yellow, declared himself pleased with the results, particularly in view of the subdued housing market in the UK at present.
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