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Safestore Posts Strong Third Quarter Trading Update

14th September 2017

Safestore Holdings PLC

Third quarter trading update for the period 1 May 2017 to 31 July 2017
 
 Strong revenue growth, Space Maker and new stores delivering, Paris accelerating

Group Operating Performance

Q3 2017

Q3 20162

Change

Change- CER1

Revenue (£'m)

32.9

28.6

15.0%

12.5%

Revenue (£'m)- year-to-date

95.5

82.7

15.5%

12.4%

Closing Occupancy (let sq ft- million) 4

4.20

3.69

13.8%

n/a

Closing Occupancy (% of MLA) 5

73.1%

74.8%

(1.7ppts)

n/a

Average Storage Rate (£)

26.06

25.87

0.7%

(1.5%)

Average Storage Rate (£)- year-to-date

26.58

25.97

2.3%

(0.6%)


Group Operating Performance- like-for-like3

Q3 2017

Q3 20162

Change

Change- CER1

Revenue (£'m)

29.9

28.4

5.3%

3.2%

Revenue (£'m)- year-to-date

87.3

82.0

6.5%

3.5%

Closing Occupancy (let sq ft- million) 4

3.72

3.67

1.4%

n/a

Closing Occupancy (% of MLA) 5

76.0%

74.8%

+1.2ppts

n/a

Average Storage Rate (£)

26.77

25.91

3.3%

0.8%

Average Storage Rate (£)- year-to-date

27.26

26.00

4.8%

1.5%


 

Highlights

·   Group revenue in Q3 in CER1 grew by 12.5%
 
·   Group like-for-like revenue in Q3 in CER1 increased 3.2% with strong Paris performance
     
     - UK up 2.3%
     - Paris up 5.7%
 
·   Group like-for-like closing occupancy of 76.0% (up 1.2 ppts on Q3 2016)

·   Group like-for-like average storage rate in Q3 in CER1 grew 0.8%

·   New store at Paddington Marble Arch expected to open in 2018

·   Sale of Deptford store for £4.8m
 
 
Frederic Vecchioli, Chief Executive Officer commented:

"I am pleased to report continuing positive trading across the group in the third quarter with particularly strong momentum in our Paris business. As ever, our top priority remains the significant organic growth opportunity represented by the 1.5m square feet of currently unlet space in our existing fully invested estate.

Our recent openings in London (Wandsworth and Chiswick), Paris (Emerainville and Combs-la-Ville), Birmingham and Altrincham, are all performing in line or ahead of their business plans as is Space Maker, the twelve-store portfolio acquired in July 2016. I am also pleased to announce our new store at Paddington Marble Arch and look forward to its forthcoming opening along with our new store in Mitcham in the next financial year.

I am confident that our leading market positions in the UK and Paris will enable us to withstand any challenges presented by the current uncertain macroeconomic backdrop. The company is in a strong position and remains on course to meet the Board's full year expectations."
 
 

Business Highlights UK

Trading Performance

UK Operating Performance

Q3 2017

Q3 20162

Change

Revenue (£'m)

24.7

21.5

14.9%

Revenue (£'m)- year-to-date

72.0

62.6

15.0%

Closing Occupancy (let sq ft- million) 4

3.32

2.86

16.1%

Closing Occupancy (% of MLA) 5

72.5%

73.0%

(0.5ppts)

Average Storage Rate (£)

23.82

24.29

(1.9%)

Average Storage Rate (£)- year-to-date

24.43

24.64

(0.9%)


UK Operating Performance- like-for-like3

Q3 2017

Q3 20162

Change

Revenue (£'m)

21.8

21.3

2.3%

Revenue (£'m)- year-to-date

64.0

61.9

3.4%

Closing Occupancy (let sq ft- million) 4

2.87

2.84

1.1%

Closing Occupancy (% of MLA) 5

73.7%

73.0%

+0.7ppts

Average Storage Rate (£)

24.33

24.32

=

Average Storage Rate (£)- year-to-date

24.95

24.68

1.1%

 
The UK business grew revenue by 14.9% in the quarter with like-for-like revenue growing by 2.3%. Whilst performance in London was solid, our South East stores outside London and Regional UK stores performed strongly.

We saw good enquiry growth in the quarter of 4.5%. The third quarter is traditionally the busiest period in the year and the UK business added 162,000 sq ft of like-for-like occupancy since the end of Q2 (2016: 170,000 sq ft added). As a result, Q3 like-for-like closing occupancy, at 73.7%, increased by 0.7 percentage points compared to the prior year and by 4.2 percentage points over the peak season as compared to the position at the end of Q2.

When the impact of the 2016 acquisition of Space Maker, and the opening of four new stores in the last twelve months is taken into consideration, revenue grew by 14.9% in the quarter. These new stores, in the initial period after opening, are dilutive to occupancy and rate. However, all new stores and Space Maker are trading in line or ahead of our business plans.
 

Paris Trading Performance

Paris Operating Performance

Q3 2017

Q3 20162

Change

Revenue (€'m)

9.4

8.8

6.8%

Revenue (€'m)- year-to-date

27.3

26.1

4.6%

Closing Occupancy (let sq ft- million) 4

0.88

0.83

6.0%

Closing Occupancy (% of MLA) 5

75.3%

82.0%

(6.7ppts)

Average Storage Rate (€)

39.45

38.84

1.6%

Average Storage Rate (€)- year-to-date

40.18

39.42

1.9%

Revenue (£'m)

8.2

7.1

15.5%

Revenue (£'m)- year-to-date

23.5

20.1

16.9%


Paris Operating Performance- like-for-like3

Q3 2017

Q3 20162

Change

Revenue (€'m)

9.3

8.8

5.7%

Revenue (€'m)- year-to-date

27.1

26.1

3.8%

Closing Occupancy (let sq ft- million) 4

0.85

0.83

2.4%

Closing Occupancy (% of MLA) 5

84.7%

82.0%

+2.7ppts

Average Storage Rate (€)

39.95

38.84

2.9%

Average Storage Rate (€)- year-to-date

40.50

39.42

2.7%

 
Paris had a strong quarter growing revenue by 6.8% compared to last year.

On a like-for-like basis, the business grew both rate and occupancy at or above the upper end of our guidance with revenue up by 5.7% for the quarter.

Like-for-like occupancy grew by 39,000 sq ft since the end of Q2 (2016: 26,000 sq ft) resulting in closing occupancy of 84.7%, up 2.7 percentage points compared to the prior year and by 3.8 percentage points over the peak season as compared to the position at the end of Q2.

Pricing showed improved momentum and our like-for-like average rate was up 2.9% year-on-year in the quarter.

The impact of the new stores opened in the last twelve months at Emerainville and Combs-la-Ville is to dilute rate and occupancy in the initial period after trading commences. Both stores are trading in line or ahead of our business plan.

The impact of the 8% weakening of Sterling compared to Q3 2016 contributed to the Sterling equivalent total revenue increasing 15.5% on the prior year.

New London Store

We are pleased to confirm that we obtained planning permission and exchanged contracts in July 2017 for a new 37,000 sq ft leasehold store located between Paddington and Marble Arch in central London. The lease will be for a period of 20 years, with an option to extend for a further 10 years. We anticipate that the store will open in the second quarter of 2018.

Deptford

In June 2017 we accepted an offer of £4.8m on our leasehold Deptford store. The store contributed £0.4m of EBITDA after rent in the year ended October 2016. The transaction was completed on 31 August 2017.

Lease Extension

Earlier this month we continued our  programme of extending the leases on our leasehold store portfolio. The lease on our Oldbury store, which had 6 years remaining, has been extended to 2042 resulting in a certain term of 25 years. A year's rent free period was agreed as part of the extension.

Outlook

Reflecting normal industry trading patterns, we anticipate a reduction in occupancy in Q4 compared to Q3. Similar trading trends have continued in the UK and Paris in the early part of Q4 and, with the company in a strong position, we anticipate full year earnings will be in line with the Board's expectations.