Developer reports increased profits for 2011

Developer St Modwen has put the redevelopment of the Elephant & Castle shopping centre back on the agenda as it reported annual results showing profit up 34% to £50.4m.

The firm, which owns the iconic shopping centre alongside the Elephant & Castle housing estate controlled by Lend Lease, said it was looking again at redeveloping the building and adding 1,000 homes on top.

The company, reporting results for the year to Nov 30 2011, also reported progress on it portfolio of major development sites, including:

  • Coed Darcy in Wales, where it submitted applications for detailed consents as part of a 4,000 home project
  • Long Marston in Staffordshire, where it has secured outline planning permission for 500 homes
  • The former Rover site at Longbridge, where it said it had submitted planning applications for 229 further homes.

It said it had a “secure” commercial development portfolio for 2012, which was already on track to turn a £15m profit.

It also reported development of its joint ventures with housebuilder Persimmon and contractor Vinci, with a further four sites, totalling 2,000 homes, likely to be built out in partnership with Persimmon.

The company also said the challenging wider economic environment had allowed it to squeeze contractors “while maintaining our own profitability.”

Bill Shannon, non-executive chairman, said economic conditions remained “unpredictable.”

Bill Oliver, chief executive, said the eurozone crisis had impacted upon the industry: “The wider economic environment remains challenging. The eurozone macro-economic issues in the second half of 2011 have restricted confidence in the UK economy and reduced the funding appetite of UK banks.

“Consequently the transaction levels for most property asset types remain limited.

“Despite these negatives, good opportunities do exist.”