Workspace bets on the office return with £45m Islington acquisition
Office-space provider Workspace has announced it has bought out a smaller competitor, The Busworks, in a £45m deal as more people return to offices in London.
The FTSE-250 company today said it will upgrade the iconic building, a former Victorian bus factory from 1888, which is currently being used as office spaces to rent. The move is part of the Group’s plans to grow its footprint across London.
Chief executive Graham Clemett said the property has the potential to become the flagship building in North London for Workspace, which already owns and manages around 4m square feet of business space in the capital.
The acquisition is part of a pipeline of refurbishment and redevelopment plans to deliver 1.2m square feet of new and upgraded space over the next five years by the office space giant.
The Group also announced its half year results to 30 September, this morning, which saw the company’s trading profit after interest soar 43 per cent to almost £22m, compared to £15m last year, driven by a 12.3 per cent rise in net rental income to £41m. The company reinstated its interim dividend at 7 pence per share.
The results, including profit before tax of £3.4m, mark a turnaround for the office space provider, which recorded a £110m loss last year as a result of the pandemic and the exodus of workers from offices.
Enquiries, viewings and lettings are now back to pre-Covid levels according to Workspace, as more people have returned to physical office spaces and are looking to work in “interesting, convenient locations with top sustainability credentials”.
“Utilisation of our centres is increasing, prices have stabilised and rent collection is strong,” affirmed Clemett.
“Those who predicted that the pandemic would lead to the end of the office are being quickly disproven,” he added.