U.K. self-storage operator Big Yellow Group PLC released its financial results for the fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31. Revenue for the quarter was £16.8 million ($27 million), which was up 3.7 percent year over year but down 9.7 percent from the previous quarter. Occupancy fell by 139,000 square feet (4 percent of capacity) during the quarter across the company’s wholly owned, 54-facility portfolio, compared to a 57,000-square-foot decline during the same period last year.
The declines were attributed to typical seasonal slowing, move-outs from an unusually high influx of student tenants during the summer, and impact from a 20 percent value-added tax (VAT) from the government that went into effect Oct. 1.
The occupancy rate across all locations was 63.3 percent, comprising 2.2 million square feet. Occupancy increased from 2 million square feet year over year but fell from 2.3 million square feet (67.3 percent) the previous quarter.
“The introduction of VAT presented the group with a significant challenge, and we are broadly satisfied with the way the business has absorbed this change,” said James Gibson, CEO. “Although it is early in the New Year to have much visibility, January has started positively with a return to more normal trading and an encouraging book of reservations. We look forward now to our seasonally busier period."
Big Yellow Group operates 66 self-storage locations in the United Kingdom under the Big Yellow Self Storage brand name, with most concentrated in Greater London. The portfolio comprises 4.2 million square feet. The company also has four sites under development.