Regus shares jump on rosy 2011 outlook

City A.M. Reporter
WORKSPACE rental company Regus reported a 67 per cent drop in earnings after it saw little benefit from any economic upturn, but its shares jumped after it hiked its dividend and said expansion and cost-cutting will return it to growth in 2011.

The group, which offers ready-to-use offices for rentals as short as half a day, yesterday said 2010 earnings before interest and tax after growth costs were £23.8m, compared with £72.m in 2009.

The results, however, were towards the higher end of analysts’ expectations, which had ranged between £16m and £26.4m, with the consensus £21.99m. Revenues were down to £1.04bn compared to £1.05bn in 2009.

Shares in Regus, which said it was increasing its full-year dividend by eight per cent to 2.6p, closed up 15.8 per cent at 116.4p.

But analysts at Peel Hunt sounded a note of scepticism: “A more upbeat trading statement is encouraging, but we continue to believe that the road to recovery will be bumpy.”