Safestore reports strong occupancy as profits rise
Safestore said occupancy performance at its storage facilities was the strongest for five years as the company posted a 12% rise in first-half earnings.
Underlying earnings before interest, tax and other items rose to £39.1m in the six months to the end of April from £34.9m a year earlier as revenue rose 10.5% to £69.2m. Statutory pre-tax profit jumped 49% to £81.9m.
Occupancy levels at established units rose 5.2% in the UK and 6% in Paris – which the company said was its best performance for five years.
The FTSE 250 company provides secure space for households to store furniture and other belongings, often during house moves, renovations and events such as deaths and births. It has 146 sites with 120 in the UK and the rest in Paris.
Frederic Vecchioli, Safestore’s chief executive, said sites opened since late 2016 were trading as well as or better than planned and that four new stores would open over the next 18 months.
Vecchioli said: “Safestore has performed well in the first half of the year across all regions and continues to build on the strong earnings and dividend growth achieved over the last five years.
“As we enter our peak trading period, we continue to see encouraging levels of interest in self-storage in the UK and in Paris. We are well-placed to meet this demand.”
The company increased the interim dividend 21.4% to 5.1p a share. Safestore shares, which reached a record 573.5p on 4 June, were flat at 558.5p at 09:21 BST.