Improving picture for property business following lockdown easing

Edward Ziff
X The Business Desk

Register for free to receive latest news stories direct to your inbox


Leeds-headquartered property investor and car park operator, Town Centre Securities (TCS), says its resilient, diversified portfolio has helped it recover since lockdown related restrictions were lifted.

The company, which has today published its final results for the year ended 30 June 2021 reports a much reduced statutory loss before tax of £0.6m (2020: loss of £24.1m) and a statutory loss per share of 1.1p (2020: loss of 45.4p).

It has recorded statutory net assets of £155.4m, or 292p per share, which is up 0.2% on the prior year (2020: £155.1m, 292p).

TCS says its rent receipts remain strong. As of 18 November 2021 of the £41.4m rent, service charge and VAT billed since March 2020, £38.3m or 92.6% has been paid, with a further £0.4m or 0.8% agreed to be deferred, totalling 93.4%.

Of the remaining £2.7m, £2.1m has been waived, mostly in return for improvements in the terms of length of leases.

TCS estimates its operations suffered a £6.2m loss of income from COVID-19 in the year, driven by: a £1m impact on its property business, primarily from bad debt, a hit of £4.5m to its CitiPark arm due to lost car parking income during nationwide lockdowns and an impact of £0.7m on its ibis Styles hotel, again due to lockdowns.

Nine properties were sold during the year, generating aggregate proceeds of £48m.

The businesses says it continues to actively manage its portfolio to drive income and capital growth.

The proportion of retail and leisure assets in the TCS portfolio has fallen to 29% from 40% in June 2020, and down from 60% in 2016.

Pure retail now represents only 21% of the company’s total portfolio and of that, 52% is in its “resilient” Merrion Estate in Leeds.

Chairman and chief executive Edward Ziff, said: “It has been a challenging year, however I am pleased to see the business recovering since pandemic related restrictions have been eased.

“We have benefited from the decisions taken earlier in the year to accelerate our disposal programme and reduce our net borrowings. As a result, the company is in a stronger financial position to benefit from the ongoing economic recovery.”

“I am pleased that our rent collection has remained robust throughout the year.

“This demonstrates the resilience, quality and diversified nature of our continuing portfolio as well as our collaborative, longstanding and strong relationships with our tenants.

“With people steadily returning to offices and normal life resuming, we are seeing improvements in both our car park and hotel operations.”