Profits treble for Mucklow property group
Pre-tax profits more than trebled for Halesowen-based property group A & J Mucklow for the last six months of 2017.
They were up from £9.1 million a year before to £29.9m and included a revaluation surplus of £14.1m on its properties.
Chairman Rupert Mucklow said it has been a solid performance by the group.
The directors have declared an interim dividend of 10.18p per ordinary share, an increase of three per cent over last year.
"Our property portfolio has continued to benefit from steady occupier demand and rental levels that are still growing, during the first six months of the financial year.
"Property values have also continued to improve on the back of strong investor interest and a shortage of available stock," said Mr Mucklow.
The group did not buy any investment properties during the half year, but in October sold its Bull Ring Trading Estate in Birmingham for £13m.
It has also exchanged contracts to sell another industrial property at Camp Hill, Birmingham for £7m, which was previously valued at £5.3m at June 30 last year. The completion of the sale will take place in April.
Mr Mucklow said the 44,250 sq ft pre-let industrial development at i54 Wolverhampton was progressing well and due to complete next month.
The substantial refurbishment of a 25,190 sq ft office building at Trinity Central, close to Birmingham International railway station, should also complete in March and is now under offer to a single tenant.
"Construction of a new trunk road by Birmingham City Council, alongside our 20 acre development site at Mucklow Park, Tyseley, is due to commence in March 2018, enabling us to start actively pursuing pre-lets for the proposed first phase of the development comprising 130,000 sq ft.
"We are also actively marketing the remaining 11 acres of land at i54 Wolverhampton," added Mr Mucklow.
The investment properties and development land owned by the group were valued at £402.8m at the end of the year. Trading properties were valued at £2m.
"Market conditions for industrial and commercial property in the Midlands continue to look favourable for the second half year.
"Assuming all lettings currently under offer complete, the additional rental income we should receive from a reduction in vacant space, will comfortably offset the annual rental income lost from the £20m of property disposals agreed in the first half year.
"We remain optimistic about our prospects for the full year," said Mr Mucklow.