Pre-tax profit dropped by £37 million at a West Midlands property group after it wrote down the value of its retail assets.
Solihull-based IM Properties said pre-tax profit for 2019 fell from £61 million to £24 million after re-adjusting the group’s portfolio’s to take account of its retail holdings stripped £35 million from its headline earnings.
Revenue fell from £233 million to £225 million but the company remained bullish about its future prospects.
Managing director Tim Wooldridge said: “The challenges facing bricks and mortar retail have been compounded since our financial year ended and recent events in the property sector have underlined the particular problems for high street retail.
“Our total return on capital employed for 2019 was ahead of the market at four per cent, we ended the year with cash reserves of £57.4 million and, despite the impact of covid-19, we achieved rent collections of 87 per cent during our Q1 which is at the top end of industry performance.”
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The company is working on sites which could bring up to 15 million sq ft of new logistics and distribution space, mainly in the Midlands region, with a gross development value in excess of £1.5 billion.
These include Mercia Park at junction 11 of the M42 where there is consent to build more than three million sq ft of logistics space.
Mr Wooldridge added: “The world has undoubtedly changed over the past few months, people have found new ways to work, reconnected with their community, appreciated the outdoors and, as an industry, we touch on all these areas through the workplaces, new homes and communities we create.
“Like many businesses, we have found elements of the real estate market that we operate within being disrupted at an extremely fast pace.
“However, the diversified structure of our group provides us with a stable base, with positive cash generation from our core investments, enabling us to remain resilient throughout the pandemic.
“We are looking to innovate and develop effective strategies surrounding sustainability, social value and governance.
“We have completed a rigorous six-month gap analysis of the business in order to deliver real and sustainable change for our stakeholders and the built environment we create.”