Profits have spiked at self-storage giant Safestore – powered by a strong trading performance and increased earnings from investment properties.
In its latest half-year results, profit before income tax jumped from £167.3m to £285.2m, with a 25.3 per cent increase in the interim dividend to 9.4p reflecting growing profitability.
Meanwhile, group revenues are up 14.6 per cent, with like-for-like storage sales rising 16.4 per cent.
Storage rates were also up across key markets such as UK, Spain and France – up 13 per cent on average, with the UK market enjoying a 15.9 per cent boost in occupancy.
Alongside the return of trading, it has made a flurry of acquisitions this years.
Its overall development and extension pipeline includes 23 stores and nearly a million square feet.
This includes completing the earnings per share accretive acquisition of the remaining 80 per cent of equity owned by Carlyle in the Benelux JV at an Enterprise Value of €146m.
The Benelux business consists of 15 high quality stores consisting of 600,000 square feet in the Netherlands and Belgium.
It also snapped up a single 14,000 square feet satellite store from Your Room Self Storage in Christchurch, Dorset, for an Enterprise Value of £2.45m
Freehold development sites acquired include three properties in the greater Paris area – subject to planning – providing a total of 134,000 square feet and a 58,000 square feet development in Netherlands.
Closer to home, it is also looking to expand a site in Wigan to 42,700 square feet, and has opened 74,000 square feet of new freehold space across London Bow, plus extensions of existing stores in London at Paddington Marble Arch and Edgware.
Frederic Vecchioli, Safestore’s Chief Executive, said: “I am pleased to report a continuing excellent performance in the period with strong average storage rates driving the results of our UK, French and Spanish businesses.”
As for potential headwinds, he noted inflationary and cost-of-living pressures, but that the situation could be managed with cost discipline and healthy yields.
We have assessed our cost base and construction projects in the light of these factors and feel confident that we have the yield management capability and cost discipline to mitigate the likely cost inflation and are comfortable that our current pipeline projects will continue to deliver returns ahead of our internal hurdle rates.