Property group launches second attempt at £5m share buy-back programme

Town Centre Securities is having a second go at its £5m share buy-back programme after only buying 10% of the target amount in the previous six months.

The Leeds-based property group spent just £533,000 on the programme it launched last June, despite it lasting a month longer than originally planned.

TCS wants to reduce the share capital of the company in response to a poorly-performing share price and reduced dividends.

Its share price remains stubbornly low and closed last night at 137.5p, still 40% lower than its pre-pandemic levels.

In a statement to investors, TCS said: “The new buy-back reflects the fact that the board remains acutely aware of the significant discount that the company’s shares trade at relative to TCS’s last reported net asset value (NAV) per share of 292p.”

TCS’s share price has not traded close to 300p since mid-2018.

Edward Ziff

In December chairman Edward Ziff apologised to shareholders, saying he was “truly sorry” that dividends had not returned to pre-Covid levels.

It paid a 3.5p dividend for its 2021 financial year, compared with 11.75p two years earlier.

He added: “We need shareholders to remain patient as we secure the business for the long term.”

TCS owns 360,000 sq ft of office space, and more than 1m sq ft of retail space, residential properties, car parks and hotels.

Its portfolio includes the Merrion Centre and Arena Quarter in Leeds as well as car park owner CitiPark.