Bruntwood posts second best profits performance in its 46-year history

Plans for The Alberton

Manchester property group, Bruntwood, has posted pre-tax profits of £75.2m for the year ended September 30, 2022, its second highest profits figure since the business was founded 46 years ago.

The group reported pre-tax profits of £44.9m in 2021.

Bruntwood has not published its turnover figure for the year. In 2021 its revenues totalled £122.5m

The group’s net asset value increased 10.7% to £671.5m and its total assets under management £2bn, up from £1.8bn.

The group’s liquidity position has also improved. As of January 31, 2023, the group has £16m of cash reserves (10 January 2022: £9.2m), £40m of undrawn committed available facilities (10 January 2022: £28m) and £70m (10 January 2022: £71m) of unencumbered assets on which further finance could be secured.

Bruntwood said its impressive profit levels were boosted by Bruntwood SciTech, the 50-50 joint venture with Legal & General which reported its best year since formation in 2018.

The joint venture’s pre-tax profits jumped from £17.1m to £114m over the reporting period, and its net asset value increased 36% to £321m while its total assets under management rose from £647.4m to £858.4m.

Bruntwood comprises Bruntwood Sci-Tech and Bruntwood Works, which includes The Plaza in Liverpool, and The Alberton, in Manchester.

Bruntwood chief executive Chris Oglesby said: “We have always looked beyond the short term to base our investments around the strategic trends we see reshaping our towns and cities.

“This approach, from the formation of Bruntwood SciTech in 2018 to the Pioneer programme of forward-thinking, flexible workspaces that we launched long before the pandemic, is the foundation of this year’s strong financial performance.

“We have aligned our products and proposition with the businesses and organisations driving the future of the UK economy in innovation-linked sectors like tech and digital, life sciences and their supporting ecosystems, all of which continue to show huge potential in many of our regional cities.”

He added: “As we now lean into the challenges presented by the end of another economic cycle, this will remain our focus.

“We will continue to focus our energies on investing in assets, whether that’s for Bruntwood SciTech or Works, in such a way that meets the needs of modern business and industry, targeting growth into new and existing cities around the UK.”

Bruntwood SciTech chief executive, Kate Lawlor, said: “We recognised that 2021 was a tipping point for the business with our expansions and gaining real momentum with our development pipeline.

“We kept up the pace in 2022 and remain focused on our goal of having a £2bn asset base within five years of formation.

“Innovation, science and technology are the future of the UK economy, especially in its regional cities.

“We are helping to invest into the capacity of these places to support, scale and sustain successful innovation-led businesses.

“This year will be just as exciting with completions of our two landmark schemes in Birmingham, the start of construction at Met Tower in Glasgow and the next phases of the masterplans at Citylabs, Manchester Science Park, and Circle Square, as well as the unveiling of the masterplans for ID Manchester and Melbourn Science Park.

“And, we will continue to place sustainability at the centre of our projects ensuring a long term positive impact on the places and communities that we are operating within.”

She added: “We also remain in active discussions with potential partners in new cities as our geographic expansion continues.

“While we’re mindful about the recessionary climate we enter in 2023 and we don’t anticipate to repeat the boost in profits seen in 2022, our long term approach, based on investing in the specialist infrastructure needed to support science and tech businesses, should see our assets fare better in any revaluation movements experienced across the wider real estate market.”

The group has properties in Manchester, Cheshire, Birmingham, Liverpool and Leeds.

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