StockMarketWire.com - Safestore reported group revenue rose 10.5% and like-for-like sales increased 4.6% in the six months to 30 April.

Sales in the UK were up 4.3% and rose 5.6% in Paris, while the dividend was hiked 21.4% to 5.1p.

OPERATIONAL PROGRESS

- Strongest occupancy performance in the last five years as like-for-like increases of 5.2% in UK and 6% in Paris drive 210,000 sq ft or 5.4% growth in closing occupancy to 4.09m square feet (4.5m square feet including Alligator and new stores)

- Alligator acquisition integration progressing well and trading in line with expectations

- New Mitcham, London store opened in April 2018

- Paddington Marble Arch, London store opened in June 2018 with Paddington Green store to close in July 2018

- Further new store openings scheduled in Poissy Paris in August 2018 (planning granted) and Birmingham Merry Hill in April 2019 (subject to planning)

- Two new stores secured subject to planning in Carshalton, London and Magenta in central Paris

- Group loan-to-value ratio (LTV) at 32.6%, interest cover ratio (ICR) at 8.6x

CEO Frederic Vecchioli commented: "Safestore has performed well in the first half of the year across all regions and continues to build on the strong earnings and dividend growth achieved over the last five years.

"Our recent acquisitions of Space Maker and Alligator have been integrated into the group and are progressing well.

"The stores opened since Autumn 2016 are trading at or ahead of their business plans and we have a pipeline of a further four stores to open over the next eighteen months.

"The acquisitions and developments (opened prior to 30 April 2018) have complemented our best like-for-like occupancy performance over the last five years of 5.4%.

"Over the last five years, the like-for-like (excluding all stores acquired or opened in this period) occupancy compound annual growth rate for the group has been 4.3%.

"As we enter our peak trading period, we continue to see encouraging levels of interest in self-storage in the UK and in Paris.

"We are well-placed to meet this demand with our 1.79m square feet of currently unlet, fully invested space, and our pipeline of four stores, plus Paddington Marble Arch (which opened after the period end), will add a further 262,000 square feet.

"Our strong, efficient, low cost balance sheet, combined with the free cash generation of the business allows us to continue to target selected development and acquisition opportunities.

"With our leading market positions across the UK and in Paris, the company is in a strong position and remains on-course to meet the Board's full year expectations."


At 8:08am: [LON:SAFE] Safestore Holdings PLC share price was +0.5p at 557.5p



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