Wednesday 14 November 2018 5:36 pm

Flexible offer provider Workspace hit by London property market slowdown

Flexible office provider Workspace announced a nearly 20 per cent drop in profit before tax as a weakening London property market took its toll.

The London-based firm said its profit before tax was £101.6m in the six months ended 30 September, down 18 per cent from £123.7m in the same period last year.

The company said this was caused by a “lower increase in property valuation and reduced disposal profits”.

Despite the profit drop the company boosted its interim dividend per share 20 per cent to 10.61p.

Chief executive James Hopkins said: "Despite the uncertain political and economic environment, we believe that we have the right strategy – owning and actively managing our assets alongside building direct relationships with customers – and a strong balance sheet to take advantage of opportunities and deliver value for shareholders.”

Net rental income was up 17 per cent to £54.1m, like-for-like rent per square foot (sq ft) was up 2.8 per cent to £38.88 and occupancy stable at 91.8 per cent.

David Madden of CMC Markets said that despite the profit drop and the uncertainty of Brexit, the company appeared to be doing well.

“The firm is actually benefiting from Brexit, so some clients don’t want to sign-up for longer leases, and Workspace can accommodate them,” he said.

Workspace’s share price closed up 1.35 per cent at 977.5p.