Big regeneration projects keep St Modwen in the black

Major projects in the North West have added have helped keep  regeneration giant St Modwen in the black, although pre-tax profits have tumbled from £258.4m to £60.8m.

The Midlands-based company reported continued resilience amongst its commercial portfolio in the North West in the year to November 30, 2016.

Regional director Steven Knowles said: “We have completed 156 transactions (lettings and lease renewals) amounting to a cumulative rental income of over £1.8m and spanning 278,000sq ft of space, which has seen the region achieve annual rental growth of 6%.

“During the year we have made good progress with our major developments. We broke ground on Great Homer Street, Liverpool with a 67,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s and a new 80,000 sq ft district centre.

“In Kirkby, we signed a Development Agreement with Knowsley Council to bring forward the development of the town centre and we are now progressing a planning application for a new retail scheme that includes a new supermarket and 76,000 sq ft of additional shops.

“We also began construction of the 18,000 sq ft Aldi at Vulcan in Newton-Le-Willows and started on-site with 63,000 sq ft of industrial and logistics space at Stonebridge Business Park in Merseyside with one unit already under offer.

“We have also successfully secured planning permission for two key sites.  

“Consent was granted for 325 new family homes at Wigan Enterprise Park, which we are now bringing forward for development. We also sold the first tranche of housing land at Cromwell Road in Ellesmere Port for the development of 350 new homes.”

Meanwhile, new chief executive Mark Allan, who only took over the reins of the business in November, has instigated a review into the company, which he said was still strong despite the tough climate.

Summing up the performance, he said: “Active commercial property development and asset management, coupled with a strongly performing and growing residential arm, contributed to another good year for St. Modwen. This is despite the turbulent market backdrop during 2016.

“Following my recent arrival as chief executive, we have commenced a review of what I already believe is a fundamentally strong business and portfolio to determine our strategy moving forward.

“We unquestionably have an opportunity to build on our existing strengths while ensuring that our activities are focused in the optimum way and I am excited about the prospects ahead.”