Mystery ‘one-off’ item sends Langtree profits soaring by 500%

Langtree, whose 2.2m sq ft of property assets includes Sci-Tech Daresbury, included an ‘exceptional’ revenue item of £5.7m in its annual accounts. Tony McDonough reports

Sci-Tech Daresbury
The Sci-Tech Daresbury campus in Liverpool city region which is home to more than 140 companies

 

Property developer and asset manager Langtree has posted a huge 500% rise in pre-tax profits to £5.9m thanks to an ‘exceptional’ revenue item of £5.7m.

In the Warrington firm’s annual report for the year to March 31, 2019, chairman Tim Johnson alluded to a “one-off profit’ but did not elaborate further and the business was unwilling to reveal the source of the exceptional figure when contacted by LBN.

Langtree, which manages 2.2m sq ft of property assets including Sci-Tech Daresbury, reported much smaller profits of £965,000 for 2018 and £887,000 for 2017 and there was no entry in the ‘profit from disposal of investments’ column in the accounts.

When the one-off item is excluded, Langtree’s revenue for the 12-month period was actually much lower than a year ago, falling from £2.3m last year to £1.6m this year.

In August this year Langtree acquired the 30% stake Merseyside-based Network Space has held in its in its developer and asset manager business for the past four years. It gave Langtree board members full control of its equity.

Langtree was formed in its current guise four years ago with group chief executive John Downes leading a management buyout of the public sector joint venture interests and brand name of the then Langtree Group.

Mr Johnson said: “Whilst we are unlikely to achieve the same financial results this coming year, due to the one-off profit posted in these accounts, there is no doubt the business is now in a very strong position both financially and organisationally.”

Langtree chairman Tim Johnson
Langtree chairman Tim Johnson

 

The company operates a number of joint ventures with local authorities, including the proposed regeneration of Parkside Colliery with St Helens Council and the Southern Gateway scheme in Warrington via its Wire Regeneration JV with the local authority.

Its JV with Halton Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council in Sci-Tech Daresbury moved forward, with plans for the latest speculative development scheme at the campus of three new office buildings starting on site in the next few months.

John Downes said: ““We are in good shape to grow and are now seeking to bolster our team further. Our view is that in spite of the political headwinds the UK economy remains in good health and there is room for further growth. 

“Across our asset base we have occupancy of around 90 per cent, which gives us the confidence to invest in expansion. There’s a proven and robust business model in place to support this.”

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