Lok'n Store narrows losses as trading lifts

STORAGE firm Lok&rsquo;n Store yesterday said it has narrowed its pre-tax losses and said that trading conditions have now improved. <br /><br />The group said pre-tax losses for the year to 31 July 2009 were now &pound;0.65m from &pound;0.74m the year before as occupancy rose and operating and financing costs were reduced.<br /><br />Lok&rsquo;n Store called the past year a &ldquo;year of two halves&rdquo; with sharply contrasting market conditions in the second and the first half.<br /><br />But the group said that despite fears that the storage sector would suffer during the property slump &ndash; Lok&rsquo;n Store&rsquo;s revenue was only down by 7.6 per cent to &pound;10m, while UK housing transactions have fallen by 52.<br /><br />Chief executive Andrew Jacobs said: &ldquo;Since the beginning of 2009 trading has been encouraging with reservations, enquiries, square feet let and number of customers all increasing.&rdquo;<br /><br />The group&rsquo;s rate of storage occupancy was now achieving the same levels as &ldquo;pre-Armageddon&rdquo;, or prior to 2007, and is achieving two per cent year on year growth for occupancy. <br /><br />Analysts yesterday noted that Lok&rsquo;n Store&rsquo;s results were better than feared, and flagged the group&rsquo;s recovery in the second half of the year.