Conygar upbeat on performance as real estate market shows signs of improvement

Wednesday, Nov 30 2011 by
Conygar upbeat on performance as real estate market shows signs of improvement

Real estate investment group Conygar Investment Company (LON:CIC) said this morning that its active asset management strategy had begun to bear fruit last year despite macro economic volatility continuing to stymie the pipeline of suitable acquisition targets.

Conygar’s chief executive Robert Ware has previously made plain his expectation that a likely deleveraging by European banks would spark an increase the flow of property portfolios onto the market. Speaking to Stockopedia on the announcement of the company’s full year results, he said that there was little doubt that that process was now under way. “There are more portfolios circulating today than there were two months ago and they are being priced a lot more realistically,” he said. “There is nothing big out there – all these portfolios have asking prices of between £10m-£100m – and it would be fair to say that us and others are bidding at a good 25-30% off what they are asking.”

Conygar’s deal flow last year was led by the purchase of 93 acres of residential development land at Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire for £14.3 million. In early November it agreed the conditional disposal of nine acres of that site to supermarket group Sainsbury’s to build a 60,000 square foot store. Since the year end is has also begun working with the supermarket chain on a development opportunity in Aberystwyth. Conygar indicated that it was keen to work with Sainsbury’s on other projects. “Sainsbury’s have said themselves that they are not that well represented in Wales so it is one of the areas that they are trying to expand in, and we are helping them,” Mr Ware said.

With £13.5 million worth of investment properties sold during the year, Conygar ended the period with total cash and undrawn committed facilities exceeding £85 million. It said that asset disposals would continue as opportunities arise and where no further value could be added. In terms of building the land bank further, the company said it was continuing to evaluate opportunities in “a highly selective and disciplined way” but that it was not prepared to over pay just for the sake of announcing new deals.

Mr Ware said: “We have got the company in a good position, we haven’t wasted our money by just buying things for the sake of it, so in the meantime, when investment properties are not there to buy, we have carried on making sure that our projects are in a very good position. We want to do it sensibly and add real value.”

Conygar reported a 3.1% increase in its net asset value per share of 155.2p – contrasting with its current share price of 97p. During the year the company bought back 17.2% of its share capital from the market and paid a dividend of £1.2 million. On an EPRA basis – which accounts for certain adjustments according to guidelines by the European Public Real Estate Association – Conygar’s NAV increased by 2.5% to 153.9p.

Overall, the company made a pre-tax profit of £1.8 million, which was down on the previous year’s £14.9 million when the company benefited from a substantial profit property sales as well as a major revaluation gain. Despite a deliberate policy of holding cash for investment opportunities, Conygar has generated profits after tax of £29.4 million in the last three years, with a return on equity averaging 7.1% per year. The group’s investment properties as at 30 September 2011 were independently valued at £139.2 million and have an annual contracted rent roll of £12.1 million.


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The Conygar Investment Company PLC is a property investment and development company dealing primarily in the United Kingdom property. The Company's principal activity is property trading, property investment, acquiring property assets with development and investment potential, and investing in companies with property assets. Its segments include Investment properties and Development properties. Its Investment properties are owned or leased by it for long-term income and for capital appreciation, and its trading properties are owned or leased with the intention to sell. Its Development properties include sites, developments in the course of construction and sites available for sale. Its investment property portfolio includes industrial properties, which are located in Blantyre, Kettering, Stratford Upon Avon and Witham; leisure property in Dundee; offices in Aberdeen, Ashby de la Zouch, Dundee, Warrington and Wolverhampton, and retail warehouses at Birmingham and Coventry. more »

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