Langtree overcomes challenging period in a positive year

Langtree Annual Reports and Accounts 2022/2023

Warrington-based commercial property company Langtree has reported ‘a very positive year’, despite political and economic turbulence.

In its annual report for the year 2022/23, chairman Tim Johnston points to an increase in profit pre-valuation movements of 73%, to £1.3m (£750,000, 21/22) and an increase in estimated rental value of £2m, to £30m for assets owned or under management, but says he is not expecting stability to return to the markets before the General Election.

Other key metrics for the company, which specialises in joint ventures and partnerships with local authorities as well as providing asset management services to institutional landlords, include:

  • Almost three million sq ft of property under ownership or management
  • 89% average occupancy (92%)
  • A modest increase in net asset value to £16.8m (£16.4m)
  • Development activity commencing or continuing on sites across the North West and Midlands, with sites under ownership and management in Yorkshire and the South West.

Mr Johnston said: “Given the headwinds out there, this is a very strong set of results.

“If you take valuations, for example, the industry has seen a general reported downturn of 15%, but Langtree has experienced only a modest three per cent decrease in values overall. That’s testament to the quality of our portfolio and partnerships, as well as past sound judgement.”

Mr Johnston also reported that the company continues to bring forward developments across its joint ventures and asset base, despite current market conditions. Projects coming forward include:

  • A planning application for a 1.6 million sq ft second phase of the giant Parkside logistics and advanced manufacturing development in St Helens – a key component of the new Liverpool Freeport.
  • A further phase of the campus at Sci-Tech Daresbury in Halton, with tenders out to build a speculative 40,000 sq ft laboratory and 20,000 sq ft office building.
  • Development of 190,000 sq ft of industrial units at Hollinwood Junction in Oldham.
  • Refurbishment and redevelopment of the 80,000 sq ft St James Business Centre in Warrington into the new Warrington Digital Hub.

Group chief executive, John Downes, said: “It’s been a busy and challenging year, but one we anticipated.

“There are many things that contribute to allowing a business like ours to continue forward, chief among them being the quality of our team, and the commitment of our partners and clients. My thanks go to all for their dedication and support.”

Mr Downes points to the confirmation that Sci-Tech Daresbury was announced as one of the Government’s new Investment Zones as helping aid its continued development.

“Part of our goal is regeneration and job creation, and Sci-Tech Daresbury continues to deliver on both fronts. It is an excellent partnership between Langtree, UKRI and Halton Council which has, so far, created more than 1,000 new jobs. The campus continues to go from strength to strength, giving us every encouragement to start the next phase of development in the spring which, when completed, will mean that almost 200,000 sq ft of new space will have been delivered. Design development for the next phase thereafter is already under way.”

The company announced that it was also continuing to progress its charitable support as part of its wider ESG programme, with Wire Regeneration appointing Warrington Youth Zone as its chosen charity for the next three years and Sci-Tech Daresbury appointing the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust as its new charity partner following the success of its four-year partnership with Stick ‘n’ Step which comes to a close this year.

Tim Johnston added: “I feel that we are well placed to have another positive year with a sound business plan and solid finances.”

Langtree has a number of joint ventures with the public sector, with the aim of delivering regeneration and job creation. These are:

  • Parkside Regeneration LLP. A joint venture with St Helens Council tasked with regenerating the redundant Parkside Colliery in Newton-le-Willows. When completed it aims to deliver more than 4,200 operational jobs across almost 2.7 million sq ft of new logistics and manufacturing space.
  • Wire Regeneration. A joint venture with Warrington Council to regenerate and develop the town’s Southern Gateway, providing new homes, workspace and public realm. The town’s old bus depot was demolished to provide new development space and grant support for the creation of the new Warrington Digital Hub.
  • Hollinwood Junction. Being delivered in partnership with Oldham Council, the development passed a significant milestone recently when it secured planning permission for 190,000 sq ft of high quality industrial and trade counter space. Work is now under way tendering the construction contract.
  • Sci-Tech Daresbury. A joint venture with Halton Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (part of UKRI), Sci-Tech Daresbury has become a world leader in scientific and technological innovation, with a blend of disruptive start-ups and global PLCs employing almost 1,500 staff.

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