Big Yellow looks to housing uptick

Big Yellow said a rise in housebuilding in London is set to boost demand for its self-storage units, though occupancy fell 2.8 per cent in the final quarter of 2013. Revenues compared to a year ago were up 6.5 per cent to £16.8m and the firm’s stores were 67.7 per cent full, up from 63.3 per cent this time last year, in a traditionally quiet quarter. “We have previously articulated a more optimistic view on prospects for trading, and current performance would appear to bear that out, although we do expect improvements to be incremental,” said boss James Gibson, adding that any rise in house construction in the city “might not be unhelpful to Big Yellow”. Peel Hunt analyst Kate Renn said the firm “is heading into a stronger phase, of which much growth is already priced in”.