Friday 20 November 2020 1:02 pm

Developer Urban & Civic swings to a loss on property revaluations

Property developer Urban & Civic swung to a loss in the year ended 30 September due to revaluations and lower commercial property sales. 

The firm, which was recently bought by health research charity the Wellcome Trust for £500m, reported a loss before tax of £8.1m, down from £16.3m profit last year.

Read more: Wellcome Trust offers to buy developer Urban & Civic for £506m

Net asset value per share dropped 4.7 per cent over the year to 343.2p reflecting valuation uncertainties during the  coronavirus pandemic. 

However reservations at its five strategic site under delivery were up 29 per cent in the fourth quarter to the end of September compared to pre-lockdown levels.

Chief executive Nigel Hugill said: “The fundamental strength of the Urban&Civic model has been demonstrated through this most testing of years. 

“Confident capital investment and rethought housebuyer priorities have contributed to post July sales and prices reaching best ever levels.”

He added: “The alignment with the investment horizons and community building aspirations of Wellcome is very evident. 

“Nevertheless, the support of shareholders since listing in May 2014 has been vital to the achievement of the leading position we enjoy today.”

The developer has 10 strategic sites over 11,050 acres, which are predominantly brownfield areas for mixed-use housing-led projects and are mostly within 100 miles of London.

Read more: Exclusive: UK investors turn to property as they brace for a recession

The Wellcome Trust’s investment arm made a £506m offer for Urban & Civic earlier this year, as it backs on the residential property sector in the south of England.

The charity, which has an investment fund worth around £26.8bn, said the recommended offer is “fully aligned with our existing strategy of investing in businesses over the long term”.