Harworth Group has issued a Quarter 2 Trading Update to the market this morning (30 July), emphasising that the business continues to perform extremely well in delivering sustainable places for people to live and work across the North of England and the Midlands.
The Company has continued to deliver a number of key milestones across its portfolio in the first six months of the year, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Underlying demand for its residential and industrial land remains robust, evidenced by recent sales to national housebuilder Redrow at Hugglescote Grange, Leicestershire and to Wheelabrator Technologies at Skelton Grange, Leeds, achieved at or above book value. This ongoing demand underpins its decision to prioritise capital expenditure on seven major development sites where agreed sales are in place for later in 2020 as well as the Company progressing its infrastructure delivery programme to ensure that it has a pipeline of further sites ready for sale in 2021.
Harworth’s income collection, generated from a predominantly industrial tenant base across its Business Space and Natural Resources assets, continues to be robust. As of today, 95% of Business Space rent, including a small number of tenants making monthly payments, has been received for the June Quarter Date, broadly in line with both Quarter 1 and historical performance. Income from the Natural Resources portfolio remains strong and ahead of both forecast and H1 2019 receipts. The Company’s income base has also been strengthened through June’s acquisition of the Thorns Road Industrial Estate in Dudley for £10.1 million plus costs at a Net Initial Yield of 10.2%.
The Company’s strong balance sheet, supported by an extension of its banking facilities in May, sales progress and supportive market fundamentals, means that it is well positioned to mitigate any short-term market volatility and to take advantage of any land and property opportunities that arise as a result of present market conditions.
Furthermore, the Company has this morning separately announced the appointment of Lynda Shillaw as its next Chief Executive Officer. Her appointment will take effect on 1 November 2020, allowing time for an orderly handover with Chief Executive Owen Michaelson before his retirement from the Company on 31 December 2020.
Further information can be found here.