TIDMWKP

RNS Number : 9491Z

Workspace Group PLC

16 January 2020

16 January 2020

Workspace GROUP PLC

THIRD Quarter business update

GOOD MOMENTUM INTO THE FINAL QUARTER

HIGHLIGHTS

-- Strong customer demand in the third quarter with enquiries averaging 1,001 per month (Q3 2018/19: 907) and lettings of 113 per month (Q3 2018/19: 98).

-- One property exchanged for sale in the quarter for GBP15.8m, a 3% premium to the September 2019 valuation.

-- Launch of our new 55,000 sq. ft. business centre, Mare Street Studios in Hackney, expected in March 2020.

-- Pro-forma LTV of 21% at 31 December 2019, based on the September 2019 valuation, with cash and undrawn facilities of GBP157m.

Graham Clemett, Chief Executive Officer, Workspace Group PLC, commented:

"This was a very encouraging third quarter for the Company. Despite the uncertainty around the general election and the usual seasonal impact, enquiries and lettings were strong. Customer demand in the first few weeks of the new year suggest that increased political certainty following the election result has buoyed business confidence.

"Our completed projects are letting up well with a robust pipeline of project activity. We continue to monitor acquisition opportunities while remaining disciplined in our return criteria. We look forward to delivering continued progress for the full year in line with expectations."

Enquiries and Lettings

We saw strong levels of demand for space through what is seasonally the quietest quarter of the year, with enquiries averaging 1,001 per month and lettings 113 per month.

Quarter Ended

 
 Average number    31 Dec   30 Sep   30 Jun 2019   31 Mar   31 Dec 
  per month         2019     2019                   2019     2018 
 
 Enquiries         1,001    1,158       1,060      1,244     907 
 Lettings           113      134         121        130       98 
----------------  -------  -------  ------------  -------  ------- 
 

Into the new year we have seen a noticeable increase in enquiries and viewing activity, which hopefully reflects improved business confidence following the general election.

Disposals

In November 2019, we exchanged contracts for the disposal of Quality Court, off Chancery Lane in Holborn, for GBP15.8m, at a 3% premium to the 30 September 2019 valuation, a net initial yield of 4.3% and a capital value of GBP930 per sq. ft. Completion is expected in January 2020.

Refurbishment Activity

We expect to open our new business centre, Mare Street Studios in Hackney, in March. This will provide 55,000 sq. ft. of high-quality business space. A further four refurbishments and four redevelopments are underway which will deliver 254,000 sq. ft. of new and upgraded space.

Financing

Net debt reduced by GBP46m in the quarter to GBP551m, with cash balances and undrawn facilities of GBP157m as at 31 December 2019.

The pro-forma loan to value (LTV) based on the 30 September 2019 property valuation is 21% (30 September 2019: 22%).

Chairman Succession

On 16 December 2019 we announced that Daniel Kitchen will be stepping down from the Board at the 2020 Annual General Meeting, after nine years in the role as Chairman of Workspace. An externally supported search process, led by our Senior Independent Director, Chris Girling, is now underway to appoint his successor.

- ENDS -

For further information, please contact:

Workspace Group PLC 020 7138 3300

Cynthia Alers, Interim Head of Investor Relations

Edelman 020 3047 2546

John Kiely

Rob Yates

Notes to Editors

About Workspace Group PLC:

Established in 1987, and listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1993, Workspace owns and manages some 4 million sq. ft. of business space in London. We are home to thousands of businesses, including fast growing and established brands across a wide range of sectors.

Workspace is geared towards helping businesses perform at their very best. We provide inspiring, flexible work spaces in dynamic London locations.

Workspace (WKP) is a FTSE 250 listed Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and a member of the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA).

Workspace(R) is a registered trade mark of Workspace Group Plc, London, UK.

LEI: 2138003GUZRFIN3UT430

For more information on Workspace, please visit www.workspace.co.uk

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.

END

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January 16, 2020 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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