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Capital & Counties Properties Plc

Capital & Counties Properties Plc Covent Garden delivered strong rental and value growth

Capital & Counties Properties Plc (LON:CAPC), today announced preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2018.

Henry Staunton, Chairman of Capco, commented:

“In my first year as Chairman of the Company, I am pleased to report positive performance from Covent Garden which now represents 80 per cent of the portfolio. Despite broader market uncertainty, Covent Garden continues to deliver income and value growth. At Earls Court progress has been made with the land available for development and value realised through disposals.

Our balance sheet allows the Board to consider the future of its two estates from a position of financial strength. Preparations for a possible demerger are well advanced and could be implemented promptly, and the Board is also considering other options for Earls Court. The Company continues to focus on long-term value creation for shareholders with prudent capital management, taking into account the uncertain economic and political environment.”

Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Capco, commented:

“Covent Garden is firmly established as a leading retail and dining destination and has had another strong year delivering rental and value growth in line with the strength of the prime central London retail market. 2018 was a record year for openings across the estate which contributed to strong net rental growth of over 17 per cent. Our creative approach to asset management and investment into the estate continues to attract positive leasing demand and provides an attractive consumer environment which has led to increased footfall and tenant sales.

The West End and Covent Garden have demonstrated resilience however economic and political uncertainty have continued to impact the London residential market, resulting in a further valuation decline in our investments at Earls Court. The land benefits from an in-place planning consent and is now available for development which is expected to be brought forward through the introduction of third-party capital. We have realised significant proceeds from the sale of the Empress State Building and continued sales at Lillie Square.

Backed by a strong balance sheet, with low leverage and access to significant liquidity, Capco is in a strong financial position to navigate market uncertainty and remains focused on delivering long-term value for shareholders.”

Key financials

– Equity attributable to owners of the Parent of £2.7 billion (2017: £2.8 billion)

– EPRA NAV 326 pence per share, a decrease of 2.4 per cent (2017: 334 pence per share)

– Total property value £3.3 billion, a decrease of 2.4 per cent (like-for-like) (2017: £3.3 billion adjusted for the sale of the Empress State Building)

– Underlying EPS 0.9 pence per share (2017: 0.9 pence per share from continuing operations)

– Proposed final 2018 dividend of 1.0 pence per share resulting in a full-year dividend of 1.5 pence per share

Covent Garden – driving rental growth and capturing reversion

– Total property value of £2.6 billion, an increase of 1.6 per cent (like-for-like) (2017: £2.5 billion)

– Strong income growth, with net rental income up 9.6 per cent (like-for-like) and 17.5 per cent in absolute terms

– Record year for openings across the estate with 21 new brands

– Good demand across all uses; 103 new leases and renewals transacted at 7.5 per cent above 31 December 2017 ERV

– ERV increased by 3.0 per cent (like-for-like) to £108 million (2017: £105 million)

– High quality concepts and flagship names secured including Tiffany & Co., Peloton and Lacoste

– High occupancy, renewal rates and strong demand for office and residential portfolio

– Development of Floral Court complete; new connecting courtyard enhancing pedestrian flow on northern side of estate

Earls Court – realising value

– Earls Court property interests valued at £658 million in total (of which ECPL & Other £499 million, Lillie Square £159 million), a decrease of 15.6 per cent (like-for-like) (2017: £759 million)

– ECPL land available for development, incoming interest from potential occupiers and investors

– Successful sale of the Empress State Building for £250 million

– Excellent progress at Lillie Square, Phase 1 substantially complete, completion of Phase 2 expected in 2020

Strong financial position with significant financial flexibility

– Group loan to value of 18 per cent (2017: 21 per cent)

– Group undrawn facilities and cash of £854 million (2017: £691 million)

– Modest capital commitments of £53 million (2017: £61 million)

– Weighted average debt maturity of 6 years (2017: 6.9 years)

– Weighted average cost of debt of 2.9 per cent (2017: 2.8 per cent)