Big Yellow like-for-like revenues up

Big Yellow Group reports a good first half with growth in both occupancy and net rent per sq ft.

Revenue for the six months to the end of September was £54.8 million (2015: £50.2 million), an increase of 9% with like-for-like revenues up 7% at £53.8 million. Cash inflows from operating activities (after finance costs) increased by 10% to £28.9 million for the period (2015: £26.3 million).

The group made an adjusted profit before tax in the period of £27.0 million, up 13% from £23.9 million for the corresponding period last year.

Adjusted diluted EPRA earnings per share were 16.9 pence (2015: 15.1 pence), an increase of 12%.

The group's statutory profit before tax for the period was £57.7 million, a decrease of 3% from £59.6 million for the corresponding period last year, due to a slightly lower revaluation gain in the period.

The group's interest cover for the period (expressed as the ratio of cash generated from operations pre-working capital movements against interest paid) was 6.1 times (2015: 6.4 times). This is comfortably ahead of its internal minimum interest cover requirement of 5 times.

Executive chairman Nicholas Vetch said: "In this seasonally stronger six month trading period, the Group has delivered a solid performance with like-for-like revenue growth of 7% compared to the same period last year. Given that our central overhead and operating expense is largely embedded in the business, this reported revenue growth has led to a 12% increase in adjusted earnings per share and equally in the interim dividend.

"I will leave it to others to comment on the momentous political events of the last six months. Only time will tell whether this translates into economic reversals, but we are on heightened alert.

"It would not come as a surprise to us for activity levels and demand in the next year or two to be more subdued than in recent years. That said, we have been planning for this eventuality since 2008, and believe that the business is well placed to face down most challenges.

"Whilst demand for self storage will ebb and flow, new supply in our key areas of operation, a key risk to the business, will, in our view, be constrained over the medium to longer term. We therefore look forward to future challenges with a mixture of caution and confidence."