Workspace enjoys 'good' consumer demand despite drop in lettings

Sebastian McCarthy
The demand for flexible workspace has soared in London (Source: Workspace Group)

Office provider Workspace has said it enjoyed "good levels of customer demand" in the first quarter of this year amid the growing appetite for flexible working, despite reporting a slide in lettings.

Average monthly lettings in the three months up to June 2018 stood at 88, a 4.3 per cent fall from 92 in the previous quarter ending in March, wile enquiries edged up from an average of 1,111 to 1,021.

The London-based FTSE 250 has been reshaping its property portfolio towards projects of greater scale in the last few months, having sold off assets in Islington and Camden for £52m recently to raise capital for its expansion plans.

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In April Workspace purchased Centre 1 & 2 in Camden for £77m, completing its acquisition of all seven Centro buildings in one of its most important acquisitions so far this year.

Early last month the firm's results showed that profit before tax nearly doubled in the last year, soaring to £170.4m in the 12 months up to March, compared with £88.8m in the same period a year before.

Following the results, investment bank Liberum said: "We believe Workspace serves a more attractive long-term growth area of the office market as occupational behaviour continues to evolve towards shorter, more flexible leases."

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In its quarterly trading statement this morning Workspace said that it is set to complete another six projects before the end of the financial year, having already refurbished and redeveloped three last month.

Jamie Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer, Workspace Group PLC, said: "In a year in which we are launching a significant amount of new and upgraded space from our project activity, it is pleasing to see continued strong customer demand driven by our in-house marketing platform."

Hopkins added: "With a strong balance sheet, we are excited about the opportunities for further investment in our extensive project pipeline and are actively exploring acquisition opportunities where we believe we can create superior value for shareholders."

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