Tuesday 5 March 2019 8:24 am

John Laing's diverse portfolio drives global expansion at green-focused infrastructure firm

Infrastructure investment company John Laing’s shares rose this morning as it announced strong growth in net asset value per share over the course of 2018.

The group said it had resisted the global climate of political and economic uncertainty which has stymied infrastructure investment in some regions by maintaining a diverse portfolio.

Share rose one per cent in early morning trading.

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The figures

Profit before tax more than doubled to £296.1m for the full year 2018, up from £126m the previous year, while net asset value per share rose to 323p, up on 281p at the end of 2017.

The company maintained a strong pipeline of investment opportunities, totalling £2.4bn in value, while portfolio value rose 29.4 per cent to £1.56bn.

The company also issued a one-for-three rights issue in March 2018, raising £210.5m.

Why it’s interesting

John Laing spent the year widening its geographical footprint, and diversity of projects has helped the firm grow despite a worldwide economic slowdown and political uncertainty damaging infrastructure investment in some regions.

The firm, which focuses on green infrastructure, saw its pipeline of projects in the renewable energy sector rise by nearly one-third, from £565m to £830m over the course of 2018, taking further advantage of a global shift to green energy.

“Our focus remains on investments in public private partnership (PPP) and renewable energy projects, but our business model is nimble and flexible enough to respond to opportunities in other sectors and geographies, as and when they arise,” said chairman Will Samuel in a statement.

What John Laing said

Olivier Brousse, chief executive, said: “Since the rights issue in March 2018, we have continued to grow our pipeline of investment opportunities whilst looking to reduce our exposure to local political and macroeconomic uncertainties through a more diversified portfolio.

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“We are carefully expanding our model into new sectors and new countries, on the back of strong relationships with international partners and with the benefit of our expanded capital base.

“Looking forward, we are confident in our ability to continue to generate value from our existing portfolio and to take advantage of both an active secondary market to recycle our capital and a strong pipeline of opportunities in order to invest in existing and new markets.”