No user image
Sara.Mikunda_43228 Jul 30

SEGRO reports a strong performance

SEGRO reports a strong performance
And remains well-positioned to deliver further growth
Commenting on the results, David Sleath, Chief Executive, said:
“SEGRO has delivered another strong set of results, which reflect the high quality of our portfolio and increased demand from a diverse range of occupiers and investors. Together with our active approach to asset management, rental growth and further progress with our development pipeline, these factors have driven significant valuation increases and earnings growth.

“We have also made important progress on our Responsible SEGRO priorities, putting the necessary framework in place to enable us to deliver on our long-term commitments, whilst continuing to work with our local teams and partners to embed our approach into our day-to-day business.

“SEGRO is well-placed to continue benefitting from the structural tailwinds driving the industrial property sector with our unique portfolio of prime warehouses, two-thirds of which are located in the most supply constrained urban markets, and an enviable land bank capable of supporting our profitable and expanding development programme. The combination of our established pan-European, customer-focused operating platform and our relationships and reputation with other key stakeholders, give us a significant competitive advantage which further enhances our ability to secure opportunities for future growth.”

HighlightsA:
Adjusted pre-tax profit of £168 million up 19 per cent compared with the prior year (H1 2020: £141 million). Adjusted EPS is 13.8 pence, up 10 per cent (H1 2020: 12.5 pence).
Adjusted NAV per share is up 12 per cent to 909 pence (31 December 2020: 814 pence) driven by portfolio asset management initiatives, yield compression, rental growth and our development activity delivering a 10 per cent increase in the valuation of the portfolio.
Strong occupier demand, our customer focus and active management of the portfolio generated £38 million of new headline rent commitments during the period, including £21 million of new pre-let agreements, and a 12 per cent average uplift on rent reviews and renewals (UK: 16 per cent, CE: 2 per cent).

Further growth in the development pipeline with 1.3 million sq m of projects under construction or in advanced pre-let discussions equating to £96 million of potential rent, of which 75 per cent has been pre-let, substantially de-risking the 2021-2022 pipeline.
Balance sheet positioned to support further, development-led growth with access to over £1.2 billion of available liquidity and a low level of gearing reflected in an LTV of 21 per cent at 30 June 2021 (31 December 2020: 24 per cent).
Interim dividend increased by 7 per cent to 7.4 pence (2020: 6.9 pence), in line with our usual practice of setting the interim dividend at one-third of the previous full year dividend.

OUTLOOK

SEGRO continues to be positioned well for further growth, benefiting from a unique portfolio of assets and a development pipeline located in areas which are highly sought after and where land is in increasingly short supply. Our ability to provide our customers with modern, sustainable premises in prime locations, two-thirds of which are in Europe’s major cities, combined with the extensive experience and networks of our local teams, give us a strong competitive advantage.

Our buildings are adaptable to many different uses and serve a wide range of customers and sectors. A significant portion of occupier demand continues to arise from the increased use of digital channels by retailers and consumers which, in turn, is driving increased e-commerce penetration and consumption of data across Europe. Although internet sales penetration levels have understandably fallen from their highs as physical retail has reopened, they remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels as cultural barriers have been overcome and habits have changed. We believe that the long-term trend towards increased on-line shopping has been amplified and accelerated by the pandemic and this has given a new impetus to demand for space.

Coupled with that, many customers and logistics suppliers are placing renewed emphasis on supply chain resilience, near-shoring and local sourcing, improved customer service and cost or inventory efficiency which are fuelling increased demand for modern, well-located warehouses – both urban and big box. We expect these themes to continue for some time. More recently we have also seen demand arising from emerging new sectors including creative industries and q-commerce (including rapid food delivery providers).

Record levels of take-up across Europe have resulted in low vacancy rates and in most of our markets supply currently equates to less than a year of take-up. This is resulting in rental growth in our core markets, most notably in urban areas where the combination of a shortage of modern warehouse space, a shortage of land suitable for development and the diversity of the occupier base is most prevalent.

Given these strong market dynamics investor demand for well-located, modern industrial assets is likely to continue to grow, putting further upward pressure on asset values.

These factors, combined with our active approach to asset management, are enabling us to drive strong returns from the existing portfolio, supplemented by our profitable, de-risked development programme which generates additional rental income and allows us to further modernise the portfolio to help our customers meet their own sustainability requirements.

We remain confident in the outlook for the remainder of 2021 and beyond given the strong levels of occupier demand and the competitive position of our business, but remain alert to macro risks, not least the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.