The UK's summer of sport was a quiet one for West End landlord
The same story of delayed returns applies to Shaftesbury's rental income, which grew 2.5 per cent like for like, compared with a long-term average of about 5 per cent. But that follows 7.5 per cent growth last year and simply reflects the timing of leasings and rent reviews, says Mr Bickell. The estimated open-market rental value of the estate - the primary basis for valuation - rose 6 per cent on a like-for-like basis to £99.9m, leaving it £19m, or 23 per cent, higher than the rent roll. Shaftesbury calls this figure the "reversionary potential" of its portfolio, because the growth is factored into the predictable process of rent reviews and lease expiries.
Meanwhile, Shaftesbury is working to increase the rental value of its estate through small-scale refurbishments, improvements to the street-scape and changes of use. The most significant of these over the period were in the company's fashion 'village' around Carnaby Street. It has been extending and reconfiguring some shops on Foubert's Place, just behind the Liberty department store, with another slug of work due to start in January. It has also been busy upgrading Kingly Street, the old service alley behind Regent Street, into a chic restaurant quarter. Kingly Court, a small square that leads from Kingly Street into Carnaby Street, will follow. "Fashion moves on," says Mr Bickell.
However, these projects will temper Shaftesbury's dividend growth this year and next; the company is sacrificing income now for future gains. It also needs to refinance a pre-crisis loan package due in 2016 and may have to accept a higher interest rate.
Broker Espirito Santo expects adjusted net asset value of 525p a share next year (498p in 2012).
|ORD PRICE:||555p||MARKET VALUE:||£1.39bn|
|TOUCH:||554-555p||12-MONTH HIGH:||560p||LOW: 456p|
|DIVIDEND YIELD:||2.2%||TRADING PROPERTIES:||nil|
|PREMIUM TO NAV:||25%||NET DEBT:||50%|
|Year to 30 Sep||Net asset value (p)||Pre-tax profit (£m)||Earnings per share (p)||Dividend per share (p)|
Ex-div: 23 Jan
Payment: 15 Feb
Shaftesbury's shares currently trade at a pricey 6 per cent premium to forecast net asset value. That's not untypical for a company that's justly seen as a safe haven - but we'd wait for the shares to come off their post financial crisis highs before buying. Hold.
Last IC view: Hold, 514p, 24 May 2012