Quintain returns to profitability with strong focus on London

 
Guy Bentley
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Quintain Estates has returned to profitability, supported by the opening of the London Designer Outlet and sales of new homes at Wembley Park. The first release of 73 apartments have been sold for an average price of £570 per square foot.

Today's results mark the first time the company has been back in the black since the credit crisis of several years ago. A key financial highlight for Quintain was the slashing of net debt, from £444m to £136m.

The London Designer Outlet has been a key driver of footfall, with 2.5m people visiting the outlet since October. The outlet boasts 20 bars and restaurants, which benefit from their proximity to Wembley stadium.

However, profit before tax were down by £4m to £4.2m for the year ended 31 March. The company recently became the latest developer to move into the private rental sector, after forming a joint to build 475 homes for rent in Wembley. Quintain has hold consentas to deliver 5,000 new homes.

In April, the company partnered with Swiss private equity group and family office Keystone to deliver the next 306,000 square feet phase of homes at Wembley Park, which will comprise seven buildings.

Under the deal, the 50:50 joint venture will pay Quintain £32m for the 2.5 acre plot and associated infrastructure. Two of the buildings will be bought by Quintain once they are developed, who will then manage them and rent them out.

"We now have a strong financial position and a clear focus on London. The early price indications at Wembley give us confidence to accelerate development and we are now well placed to maximise value for shareholders", said chief executive Maxewll James.

Several developers have moved into the sector to meet demand for more affordable homes, including Grainger as well as Delancey and Qatari Diar at the Olympic Village.