Tritax Big Box Real Estate Investment Trust PLC (REIT) (LON:BBOX) on Thursday said its first-half profits rose more than a third and that it was well placed to make further acquisitions.
The investor and funder of large logistics facilities in the UK reported a 35% rise in first-half operating profit to £56.4mln and increased the interim dividend by 4.7% to 3.35p per share.
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Tritax said it currently has 38 different customers, including some of the biggest names in the logistics and omni-channel retail, with 82% of its customers being members of major stock market indices in the UK, Europe and the USA.
“The group is well positioned to take advantage of the changing dynamics in the logistics market, in particular technical innovation in the form of e-commerce. This is affecting fortunes on the high street with a number of well-publicised retailers having succumbed to a challenging trading environment,” Tritax’s chairman Richard Jewson said in a statement.
“Despite the depreciation of sterling having made imports more expensive, we feel that Brexit does not yet appear to be affecting occupier demand for Big Box space significantly. We expect to see continued healthy occupier requirements for well-located logistics buildings which enable occupiers to remain competitive by delivering economies of scale benefits, cost savings and improved operational efficiencies.”
In a note to clients, broker Liberum said Tritax’s portfolio of big box assets should continue to benefit from the secular growth of e-commerce and more efficient distribution practices. They also expect the wider industrial sector to remain relatively resilient, boosted by e-commerce and a lack of new supply, as well as supportive demand from manufacturers and logistics operators.
Shares in Tritax Big Box were 1.7% down at 152.40p in late afternoon trade.