Property group builds towards £1bn target

Lynda Shillaw

Property group Harworth has benefitted from tailwinds in the market as operating profits quadrupled in 2021.

The regeneration specialist has ambitious growth plans, which were backed up last week by a new £200m senior debt facility, and has today revealed a strong set of financial results.

Operating profits jumped from £27.8m in 2020 to £121.9m last year, because of an £84m increase in the fair value of investment properties.

Lynda Shillaw, who became chief executive of Harworth in November 2020, said: “Harworth maintained its strong momentum throughout 2021, as we stepped into our ambitious strategy to reach £1bn of EPRA NDV over five to seven years.

“Our performance, combined with tailwinds in our end markets, has translated into a significant increase in EPRA NDV and our highest annual total return to date.”

The key measure of EPRA NDV per share – which determines the value of the equity in a sale scenario – rose by nearly one-quarter to 197.6p.

This values its current net disposal value at nearly £640m, which is £135m higher than at the start of the pandemic.

Harworth’s shares reached an all-time high of 193p in February, although has since slipped back slightly and closed last night at 172p.

Shillaw added: “In addition to the significant progress made in planning, direct development, lettings and land sales across our portfolio during the year, we agreed terms for the sales of our Ansty strategic land site and Kellingley development site, conditional on planning consent, at significant premiums to book value.

“The proceeds from these sales once completed, alongside the larger senior debt facility we have secured, will provide us with additional firepower to deploy across our development sites and acquisition pipeline.”