Segro Plc (SGRO), the U.K.’s largest publicly traded owner of industrial properties, said full-year earnings rose 4.8 percent after the company sold assets.
Profit excluding changes in property values and one-time items rose to 143 million pounds ($216 million) from 136.4 million pounds a year earlier, the Slough, England-based company said in a statement today. The average of seven analyst estimates was for earnings of 138.9 million pounds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Segro in January said the value of its real estate portfolio declined by about 180 million pounds in the second half of 2012 on weaker markets in the U.K. and continental Europe. Offices in southeast England accounted for 75 million pounds of the decline. The company’s assets, which include data centers, distribution warehouses and light-industrial parks, are also located in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.
“Increased levels of international trade, the outsourcing of distribution by manufacturers and retailers and growth in consumer spending have created robust demand for warehousing space over this period,” Chief Executive Officer David Sleath said in the statement. “The opportunity to convert industrial land to ‘higher value uses’ such as offices, retail units or trade counters, has also enhanced the returns available from owning industrial property.”
Revenue fell 6 percent to 254.8 million pounds. The net loss widened to 197.3 million pounds from 30.4 million pounds, the company said.
Sleath said in November 2011 that he plans to sell 1.6 billion pounds of real estate to help pay debt and focus on more profitable properties close to major transportation hubs or large cities across Europe. So far, the company has sold 700 million pounds of properties, including 152 million pounds received since the end of the financial year, at a 3.6 percent average discount to December 2011 book values.