LXB Retail Properties : LXB – interims

LXB Retail Properties has published its interim results covering the six months ended 31 March 2014. Its EPRA NAV rose by 4.3% to 120.98p over the period and it bought back £40m of its shares. Cash levels fell from £35m to £20m. They got planning permission for the Old Gasworks at Sutton and Brocklebank Retail Park at Greenwich and got closer to securing permission for their Banbury Gateway and Rushden Lakes developments as well. The Banbury Gateway planning decision will free the way for LXB Retail properties to be able to sell this property to Crown Estates for £43m. LXB Retail Properties are at the public consultation stage for their first “Living Village” development at Higher Newham Farm in Cornwall and they say the feedback so far has been positive.

They sound a cautionary note on new lettings, saying “although the general economic backdrop is positive, the environment for retailers is not easy; in particular, views continue to evolve on the most appropriate format for a multi-channel world with store size, lease length and the significant cost of fitting out, all being key considerations for prospective tenants. Our lettings achievements show we have the right locations, although we do sometimes have to offer attractive incentive packages before retailers will commit to institutional grade leases. In some instances too, tenants who have signed pre-lets are revisiting their requirements and, whilst we always make sure that our contracts are robust, we engage constructively with these tenants, wherever possible, to accommodate their revised aspirations in a way which maintains shareholder value”. They also say that there is cost inflation in the construction sector.

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