UK property group gains less than expected from Percy Place sale

U+I saw value of Irish assets decline by 28% last year

A computer-generated image of the Vertium Building, in which U+I owns a 20 per cent interest

A computer-generated image of the Vertium Building, in which U+I owns a 20 per cent interest

 

UK-listed property group U+I realised £3 million (€3.5 million) less than it expected when it sold its interest in Irish properties including Percy Place in Dublin in the year to the end of February.

In its annual report, published on Thursday, the company said the value of its Irish assets declined by 28 per cent to £30.2 million during the year, which it described as an “active” one. It posted a gain of £5 million in relation to the sale of Percy place and a number of other units, noting that it had anticipated a gain of £8 million.

It also realised a gain of £4 million from its interest in the Vertium building in Dublin, previously known as Burlington House, having previously pencilled in up to £5 million.

U+I owns a 20 per cent stake in the Vertium building, a development in which property developer Johnny Ronan is also involved. The property has been let in its entirety, triggering a profit share.

U+I also holds stakes in Donnybrook House in Dublin 4, on which it began construction in October 2016, and Ballymoss House in Sandyford - an office building the company acquired for €13.5 million with Colony Capital in November 2016.

Core regions

“This was another active year for U+I in the Dublin market, one of our three core regions. Vertium is now fully let and contributed to our overall full-year profits. We established a specialist platform joint venture with Colony Capital and seeded the fund with Donnybrook House which will be refurbished as part of the future development of the asset. Also in 2016, we acquired Ballymoss House in Sandyford which will be included in the Colony Capital fund and refurbished also,” said Matthew Weiner, chief executive of U+I Group.

“This continued commitment and activity is driven by our belief that the Dublin market offers significant opportunities. By working with talented local partners, we can identify undervalued land and buildings, developing them into places that benefit communities and offer a return on investment,” Mr Weiner added.

Overall, the group’s full-year 2017 accounts show that it realised £35 million of development and trading gains in line with guidance, while the basic net asset value was 278 pence per share - down 13 pence on the previous year.

U+I recorded a pretax loss of £1.7 million, down from a pretax profit of £25.7 million the previous year.