Town Centre Securities is a UK REIT focused primarily on Leeds, Manchester, Scotland and (mainly suburban) London. It also has a car parking operation (CitiPark). The investment portfolio is intensively managed for income and capital growth.
Since reporting a resilient H120 performance attention has turned to managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Key elements of the portfolio continue to operate but the car parking operations have been hit by the lockdown. Given the uncertainty, TCS has suspended all previous guidance on performance and is focusing on the preservation of cash. Measures taken include negotiations with tenants to optimise rent collection, cost reductions (including a reduction in board salaries) and a pause to most capital projects. The board is continuing to review the affordability and appropriateness of the interim DPS of 3.25p (£1.7m) that was declared for payment in June 2020. At 31 March 2020 TCS had cash and borrowing headroom of £23.9m based on the 31 December 2019 asset values.
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 is for now 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 now likely to broaden.