Office space provider Bruntwood sees profits soar to £116m

Manchester-based family business manages more than 800,000 sq ft of office space in and around Liverpool and its buildings include the Cotton Exchange and the Plaza. Tony McDonough reports

The Plaza
The Plaza, Bruntwood’s office complex in Liverpool. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

Liverpool’s biggest provider of office space, Bruntwood, says it annual pre-tax profits have soared by 62% to £116m.

The Manchester-based family business manages more than 800,000 sq ft of office space in and around Liverpool and its buildings include the Cotton Exchange, the Plaza and Queen Insurance Buildings as well as properties in Waterloo and Bootle.

Bruntwood has over £1bn of assets under ownership across more than 100 properties in the North and Midlands, housing over 3,000 businesses, and says the rise in profits is primarily driven by the rising value of properties in Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

Assets under management in the year to the end of September 2018 increased from £1.09bn to £1.27bn and shareholder funds rose to £570m from £513m in 2017, while borrowing as a proportion of value was reduced to less than 45%.

During 2018, £19.3m was invested in capital improvements and refurbishments, up from £17.3m in 2017.  A further £49m was invested in developments.

Bruntwood
Bruntwood chief executive Chris Oglesby

 

Common goal

Chief Executive Chris Oglesby said: “Brexit is, of course,  a huge challenge for our economy, but by working with our civic and academic partners towards a common goal of creating the environments where businesses – particularly in globally-facing sectors such as science and technology – can prosper, we will play our part in meeting this challenge.”

In one of the biggest strategic moves of its 42-year history, Bruntwood launched Bruntwood SciTech in October 2018. A 50-50 joint venture with Legal and General, it is the UK’s largest property platform dedicated to driving the growth of the science and technology sector in regional cities.

Bruntwood SciTech is set to make a valuable contribution to the Government’s Industrial Strategy, creating more than 50,000 high value jobs over the next 10 years. Through the development of environments and ecosystems designed to help companies form, grow and scale, the portfolio is set to expand to over 6m sq ft with a valuation of over £2.5bn.

Community support

Bruntwood, together with the Oglesby Charitable Trust, also continued its long-standing commitment to making a difference to communities – donating £4.6m, to local charities and initiatives spanning the environment, arts, medical research, education and tackling social inequalities.

Mr Oglesby added: “We are fully focused on our purpose of creating thriving cities and by continuing to invest in our customers, colleagues and communities, despite the macro-economic picture and the uncertainty Brexit will bring, we can be confident of further growth.

“Our regional cities are thriving and demand for our product and services remains strong, with a good pipeline of deal transactions and opportunities.”

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