Regus to invest as profit doubles

 
City A.M. Reporter
Regus more than doubled its operating profit for 2011 as cash-strapped firms chose the flexible office space supplier over fixed cost premises, and said that it would open another 200 locations this year to fuel further growth.

The group, which offers ready-to-use offices for rentals as short as half a day in cities in 94 countries said operating profit for 2011 was £50.6m, up from £23.9m in 2010.

Revenue for the year rose 12 per cent to £1.16bn, helped by an eight per cent rise in occupancy levels in its core mature business - centres not opened in the current or past financial year.

Regus, whose customers include Google, GlaxoSmithKline and Nokia, said it expected to open 200 new locations in 2012, up from 139 last year, as it edges towards a target of 2,000 locations by 2014. Regus currently has around 1,200.

"The group continues to see significant opportunities in the structural move toward flexible work... We are ready and capable to invest further to accelerate growth but if macro-economic conditions deteriorate scale back accordingly," Chief Executive Mark Dixon said in a statement.

Regus, which has also been expanding its network into locations such as train stations and motorway services, increased its full-year dividend by 12 per cent to 2.9 pence. Current trading remains in line with its expectations, it added.