Segro earnings slump despite improving rents

SEGRO’s net asset value inched forward in the first half of the year while pre-tax profits halved, as the industrial landlord continued to weather tough conditions in the European industrial property markets.

Pre-tax profit fell to £64.6m from £148.9m a year earlier, while net asset value per share was up by one pence to 377p for the six months to the end of June, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Chief executive David Sleath said: “Against a backdrop of slowly recovering occupier markets, our key priority has remained operational delivery, focused on customer retention, leasing, cost control and pre-let development.”

The company, strongly focused on the UK market and in particular around Heathrow airport, said the vacancy rate across its portfolio fell to 11.4 per cent at 30 June, from 14 per cent a year earlier, as fewer customers returned unwanted space.

That contributed to a gain in like-for-like net rental income of 5.1 per cent.

Segro, which has been the worst performer among the retail investment trusts over the past month, rose 2.68 per cent to 244.9p yesterday.