Circle Property is an AIM-listed property investment company that actively manages its assets, placing an emphasis on total returns rather than maximising short-term income. It targets the acquisition of well-located regional office properties where it has identified a clear opportunity to add value.
Circle plans to release results for the year ended 31 March 2020 (FY20) in late September but has previously stated an increase in the end-FY20 property valuation to £139.5m, driven by continued leasing activity, and an estimated unaudited NAV per share of 290p. In common with peers, as a result of COVID-19, rent collection has since slowed while sector-wide valuation uncertainty has increased. As at 14 July, 91% of March quarter rents had been collected and 77% of June quarter rents (increasing to 91% of rents due including agreed monthly payments). Also at 14 July, drawn debt was £62.3m (£100m of facilities with £2.7m immediately available) with cash of £4.3m (gross LTV 44.7%). The board expects to pay a final dividend but no formal decision has yet been made.
The commercial property market is cyclical, historically exhibiting substantial swings in valuation through cycles while income returns have been more stable, but still fluctuating according to tenant demand and rent terms. The extent and duration of impact of the global pandemic on the economic outlook remains uncertain. While the supply demand balance for regional office and industrial property has hitherto remained generally firm the weakness that was previously confined to the retail sector is likely to continue to broaden.