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Grainger, the UK’s largest quoted residential property owner and manager, completed group sales of GBP64.6m during the four months to 31 January 2013.
Vacant UK sales of 201 units generated gross sales of GBP32.4m at an average margin of 41.1 per cent. An increase in tenanted investment and other sales from UK portfolios generated sales of GBP26.6m (31 January 2012: GBP8.2m) at values in excess of their carrying value.
Gross rents of approximately GBP27.3m (31 January 2011: GBP30.4m), reducing principally, as expected, as a result of the disposal of a proportion of German assets to Grainger’s joint venture with Heitman.
Fees increased to approximately GBP4.6m (31 January 2012: GBP2.9m), which will be further supported by revenue generated by the new partnerships.
Andrew Cunningham, chief executive of Grainger, says: “We have started this financial year with a number of significant transactions. These endorse and expand upon our asset and property management skills and underpin our stated strategic objectives. Despite the remaining economic challenges, and a slightly subdued market during the first financial quarter, we are seeing increased signs of activity in 2013. Institutional investor interest in the UK residential market continues to grow, supported by positive Government measures.
“Despite continued economic uncertainty, we have increased total group sales during the first four months of the financial year, achieving prices 3.4 per cent above our September 2012 valuations on sales of our UK vacant properties. Fee income continues to grow and, whilst direct rental income has fallen, principally as a consequence of moving our German assets into a co-ownership structure, the level of underlying rent increases is still healthy.
“We have continued to be net sellers across our property portfolios and remain committed to achieving our target of reducing group net debt to GBP1bn by the end of the year. This reduction will be weighted toward the second half of the year showing a similar profile to previous years.”
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