Profits have risen by a half to a record high at property developer, investor and manager Network Space, who are headquartered in Newton-le-Willows.
The company has posted pre-tax profits of £28m for the year ending 30 June 2017, up from about £19m a year earlier. Net assets rose by 28 per cent to £120m over the same period, while gearing on the investment portfolio was reduced to 27 per cent as external borrowings fell to £40m.
Network Space has recently awarded two construction contracts to build 215,000 sq ft of new industrial property, with a third contract for 103,000 to follow shortly, as well as beginning infrastructure works on a 60-acre logistics site.
The new industrial developments are located in Stoke, St Helens and Knowsley and comprise 12 buildings, of which all but one are being delivered speculatively. Meanwhile, the 60-acre logistics site will be capable of accommodation a single building of more than 1m sq ft.
These schemes represent the start of a £210m, 2.5m sq ft, five-year development programme that Network Space has secured land to deliver. The result will predominantly be small- to medium-sized industrial units that are intended to be retained in the investment portfolio once completed.
Network Space, which was established in 1982, is majority owned by Bill and Richard Ainscough. It directly owns a £149m investment portfolio and £11m land bank.
Richard Ainscough said: “The last two years have been remarkably successful and reassure us of our chosen strategy. It is particularly satisfying that our profits are a consequence of success in all operational areas of development, investment and management. A number of development land projects have completed at or ahead of expectation, our investment strategy continues to deliver valuation gains as well as in-year profits and our management activities have ensured our rents have grown in line, if not beyond, the market.
“It is most encouraging that we begin this next year with a strong financial structure, giving us the platform to develop our five-year land bank into much needed small- to medium-sized industrial units that will further strengthen our investment portfolios. Furthermore the income and capital returns from our existing portfolios continue to outperform the market as we refine our stock and continually invest in new management initiatives and the systems to support them.
“Clearly there are external economic risk factors to monitor and consider, but we remain very prudent in our risk assessment and continue to make sure that we have a degree of insulation against the possible negative effects of a failing economy. Looking forward we have reason to be optimistic with a healthy development pipeline, the means to fund it and an excellent team in place to make it all happen.”
Photo – Network Space’s Alchemy scheme in Knowsley (CGI)