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U.K. Self-Storage Operator Big Yellow Group Reports First-Quarter 2013 Earnings, Affected by VAT


U.K. self-storage operator Big Yellow Group PLC released its operating-performance results for the quarter ending June 30. The company achieved improvements in occupancy and rental rates since March 31 at its wholly owned and partnership stores. However, it did see a slight dip in rental yield over the same period last year due to the 20 percent value-added tax (VAT) imposed by the government in October.

Occupancy at its 54 wholly owned stores increased by 5.4 percent over the same quarter in 2012, and the net rent per square foot was up 1.7 percent. Total store revenue for the 54 stores was $21.9 million (£16.7 million) for the quarter, an increase of 5 percent from the quarter ending March 31, but down 1.2 percent for the same period last year. The company attributed the decrease in average rental yield to the VAT, but said its overall sales were partially offset by a growth in occupancy.

The company also reported an increase in occupancy and rental revenue at its 12 stores owned in a limited partnership. Occupancy across these stores grew by 35,000 square feet in the quarter to 444,000 square feet. This compares to 386,000 square feet of occupied space at the same time last year. Total store revenue for the 12 partnership stores was $2.9 million (£2.2 million) for the quarter, an increase of 16 percent from the same quarter in 2012.

During the first quarter, Big Yellow began construction of a 70,000-square-foot facility in West London, slated to open in April 2014.

"This is a good start to the year with improving demand, and we expect to deliver further occupancy gains over the summer,” said CEO James Gibson. “The performance for the year will depend on our historically weaker December quarter when we see a spike in short-term vacates from domestic and student customers. Our focus remains on earnings and cash-flow growth through increasing occupancy and revenue leveraging off our market-leading brand and operating platform."



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