PBLT shareholders vote for new ​residential investment strategy and improved flexibility for growing North East property investment fund

TOC Property Backed Lending Trust PLC (PBLT), managed by​ Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based wealth management and property lending specialist, Tier One Capital Ltd (Tier One), has confirmed a greater focus ​to support residential property developers in North East England and Scotland.

Following a general meeting of PBLT shareholders, ​the London Stock Exchange main market-listed property fund has amended its sector lending caps to be more flexible in its residential investment policy, in line with current market trends.
 
With forecasted increased demand from property developers and housebuilders, especially in the SME sector, and expectation for a reduction in commercial developments in this period, while employers assess their office requirements in light of increased working from home practices, PBLT can now increase its focus and diversification within the residential property development market.
 
In addition, PBLT’s shareholders voted for a new sustainable dividend policy, which aims to provide 4p per share per year for shareholders (a current yield of over 4.5 per cent per annum) with the potential for an additional year end special dividend depending on financial performance during the period. This will be a 33 per cent increase on the 3p per share returned during the financial year ending 30 November 2020.
 
This updated approach will support the objective of growing the value of the London Stock Exchange-listed investment company and maintain the momentum it has built, even during a period of economic uncertainty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
PBLT achieved annual revenues of GBP2.346 million in its last financial year, an increase from GBP2.222 million, generating a pre-tax profit of GBP856,000.
 
Ian McElroy, Chief Executive, Tier One, the investment adviser to PBLT, says: “The shareholders are very supportive of PBLT’s approach, which is ensuring the investment policy is fit for purpose in the current market environment. This should also enable the fund to return sustainable dividends on a regular basis to shareholders, while also continuing to grow the underlying net asset value of the company.
 
“This agreement with the shareholders ensures PBLT can be more flexible and increase the support it provides to housebuilders in the North East and Scotland who are contributing to government targets of building 300,000 new homes each year.”
 
Brendan O’Grady, PBLT fund manager, adds: “Commercial developments will, of course, remain a key element of our lending strategy and we will assess each opportunity on its merits. The pandemic has seen a shift in the business communities’ approach to office-based work as well as increase in developments in areas such as logistics and we will continue to monitor the market to support schemes that will add value to the regional economy and deliver sustainable returns for our shareholders.”