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Custodian REIT shrugs off retail uncertainty to increase NAV

"In regional markets, smaller lot size industrial and logistics and office buildings remain undersupplied and with latent rental growth"

Custodian REIT -
Demand for offices remains strong

Strong income flows helped property trust Custodian REIT PLC (LON:CREI) in the quarter just ended.

Asset value rose slightly to 104.4p per share, while occupancy picked up to 95.6% as demand for industrial and office property in the regions offset the troubles on the high street.

Custodian repeated its dividend target for the year to March of 6.65p.

Richard Shepherd-Cross, the trust’s managing director, said the improvement reflected its defensive strengths as activity in the property market overall had dropped significantly during the run-up to the UK general election.

Custodian REIT's share price maintained its premium to NAV during the period, reflecting its high dividend yield and the robustness of its closed-ended structure.” 

Confidence has picked up

Since the election, confidence has picked up markedly added Shepherd-Cross and every sector bar retail had started the year with 'a tailwind of growing occupier confidence, a backlog of delayed investment decisions and historical under-investment'.

Retail rents are heading down, though Custodian does not expect a significant increase in vacancies. 

“In core locations in regional towns and cities, many retailers still want a physical footprint albeit on revised rental terms.  

“Secondary retail locations are likely to experience greater long-term vacancy levels as well as lower rents and capital values. 

"In regional markets, smaller lot size industrial and logistics and office buildings remain undersupplied and with latent rental growth.  

"Subject to market pricing we still see value in potential acquisitions in these sectors.”

Custodian's total assets were worth £430.2mln at end December comprising a property book of £571mln and net gearing of 23.2%.

Shares were unchanged at 114.8p, a 10% premium to NAV.

Quick facts: Custodian REIT

Price: 97.78 GBX

LSE:CREI
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £410.73 m
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