Workspace Group plc (LON: WKP) have today provided a first quarter business update.
· Good level of customer demand in the first quarter with enquiries averaging 1,060 per month (Q1 2018/19: 1,021) and lettings of 121 per month (Q1 2018/19: 88).
· Two new buildings, in Hoxton and Clerkenwell, and one building extension and refurbishment in Chiswick completed during the quarter.
· Pro forma LTV of 22% at 30 June 2019, based on March 2019 valuation, with cash and undrawn facilities of £134m.
Graham Clemett, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Workspace Group PLC, commented:
“It has been a busy and successful quarter for the Company. Our distinctive flexible offer continues to attract strong demand from a broad range of customers, despite the challenging economic environment.
Our completed projects are letting up well and we are progressing at pace with the delivery of our project pipeline. Alongside this we remain well positioned to take advantage of acquisition opportunities but remain rigorous on our return criteria.”
Enquiries and Lettings
We have seen good levels of demand for space through the quarter at both our like-for-like properties and recently completed projects. Enquiries averaged 1,060 per month and lettings averaged 121 per month.
|Average number||30-Jun-19||31-Mar||31-Dec-18||30-Sep||30 Jun 2018|
Refurbishment and Redevelopment Activity
In April 2019, we completed the refurbishment of The Light Box, Chiswick comprising a 19,000 sq. ft. roof extension and a significant upgrade to the common areas.
In June 2019, we completed two new buildings:
· Brickfields, adjacent to Hoxton Rail Station, with 57,000 sq. ft. of net lettable space comprising 98 offices and studios. The industrial design of the building features a steel-frame interior and a large central atrium.
· Ink Rooms, a former printing ink factory in Clerkenwell, has been converted and extended to provide 23,000 sq. ft. of net lettable space comprising 37 offices and studios.
We expect to complete another three refurbishment projects during the remainder of the current financial year, providing a further 104,000 sq. ft. of new and upgraded space.
Net debt reduced by £6m in the quarter to £574m, with cash balances and undrawn facilities of £134m as at 30 June 2019.
The pro forma loan-to-value ratio at 30 June 2019, based on the 31 March 2019 property valuation is 22% (31 March 2019: 22%).
On 31 May 2019 Jamie Hopkins stepped down from his role as Chief Executive Officer. Graham Clemett, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, has assumed the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer, with the formal search for a permanent successor progressing well.