Safestore swings into the black and names chief

SELF-storage retailer Safestore yesterday swung to a full-year pre-tax profit helped by strong occupancy growth and robust rental rates, and raised its final dividend.

The company, which generates much of its revenue from individuals moving houses, also named Peter Gowers its new chief executive after Steve Williams retires on 30 April.

Gowers was most recently the chief executive for Asia Pacific at InterContinental Hotels Group, the world’s biggest hotelier.

“The group continued its trend of improving rental rates per square feet with the average rate for the year at a record high of £25.55m,” the company said in a statement.

Safestore, whose closing occupancy increased more than six per cent, raised its final dividend by 8.3 per cent to 3.25p, taking the total dividend for the year to 4.95p. Pre-tax profit was £29.2m, compared with a loss of £9.4m a year earlier.