Big Yellow Third Quarter Trading Update

15th January 2019

Big Yellow closing occupancy was 81.1%, an increase of 1.4 ppts from the same time last year. Like for like closing occupancy increased by 2.4 ppts to 82.1%. In our seasonally weaker third quarter, occupancy decreased by 126,000 sq ft compared to a loss of 170,000 sq ft in the same quarter last year.
The average achieved net rent per sq ft for the quarter was up 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Closing net achieved rent per sq ft was £27.64, an increase of 2.8% from the same time last year and up 3.4% from 31 March 2018. The Group's revenue increased by 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year, and is up 7.0% for the year to date. Like for like revenue increased by 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year.
The revenue from the Armadillo portfolio for the quarter to 31 December 2018 increased by 17% to £3.8 million compared to the same quarter last year. Like for like revenue, excluding the three most recent store acquisitions, increased by 5% compared to the same quarter last year. 
Construction is underway on our Manchester and Camberwell stores, which we anticipate will open in Summer 2019 and Spring 2020 respectively. We have recently been granted planning consent for a 57,000 sq ft store in Bracknell. We anticipate the store will open in Summer 2020. 
As reported previously, we have obtained planning consent for a comprehensive redevelopment of our Battersea store. We have commenced the process of transferring the customers to nearby stores and we are aiming to commence construction next Summer, with a view to re-opening the larger store in Summer 2020. The Group completed the purchase of the Wyvern Industrial Estate in New Malden, London for £28 million in early January 2019. Big Yellow occupies approximately half of the estate, with an 81,000 sq ft net lettable area store.
James Gibson, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"We are pleased to be reporting a solid set of results, with revenue growth of 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year and like for like revenue growth of 6.4%. As with the first half, this growth is coming from both occupancy and rate, and we would expect to see this continuing in 2019 as we return to occupancy growth in our fourth quarter and seasonally stronger Spring and Summer trading period. We remain focussed on our core objective of 90% occupancy across the portfolio. The development of new stores to provide external growth, is as previously reported, a key objective of the business. To that end, we are delighted to have been granted planning consents at Battersea and Bracknell."