Hansteen hikes divi; agrees sale of two portfolios

Hansteen's normalised income profit increased by 29.4% to £61.1m in the year to the end of December and the group achieve a total annual return to shareholders of 23.1p or 20.8%.

The group also announced that the board had agreed to dispose of its German and Dutch portfolios for €1.28 billion to entities owned by funds advised by affiliates of The Blackstone Group L.P. and M7 Real Estate.

The price represents a premium of approximately €76 million (6 per cent.) to the year end valuation which itself included a valuation uplift of €34 million over the 2015 valuation.

Financial highlights for the year ended 31 December include:

- IFRS profit before tax of £119.9 million (FY 2015: £171.4 million)

- Normalised Total Profit increased by 4.4% to £66.0 million (FY 2015: £63.2 million)

- IFRS NAV per share increased by 17.9% to 124.0p (31 December 2015: 105.2p)

- EPRA NAV per share increased by 15.9% to 128.9p (31 December 2015: 111.2p)

- Full year dividend increased by 12.4% to 5.9p per share (2015: 5.25p per share)

- Net debt to property value ratio of 40.9% (31 December 2015: 41.2%)

Chairman Melvyn Egglenton said: "I am pleased to report an exceptional year for Hansteen with our portfolio and our team once again delivering record results.

"While acquisition opportunities have been limited the team has focused on growing the portfolio occupancy and rent roll resulting in the highest ever number of new lettings and lease renewals, record like-for-like rent growth and the highest ever portfolio occupancy rate.

"The significant spread between our portfolio yield and borrowing costs offers potential for further capital growth, particularly when the current yield is compared to the yield lows of previous cycles.

"This compares favourably to the other property sectors where yields have reached historic lows during 2015 or earlier.

"The UK portfolio also offers earnings upside through the letting of the remaining vacant area and emerging rental growth which will allow the business to continue to generate strong income returns in the future.

"Across the UK, we are experiencing pockets of rental growth and shorter incentives being offered to tenants as demand intensifies, particularly at estates where voids are zero or close to zero.

"We also have 447 acres of undeveloped land in the UK which does not yet produce income but will in time produce further value.

"We will continue to focus on realised returns allowing us to pay a well-covered and growing dividend to our shareholders."