U+I cuts capital spending by £33m

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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Developer U+I is scaling back capital spending by £33m this year as it cuts costs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Around 13% of staff have been made redundant as the firm made a £56.3m pre-tax loss during the year to March 31 2020 because of provisions on historic projects and a revaluation of its investment portfolio.

But U+I is confident about long term prospects with £10.8bn of potential developments in the pipeline.

Matthew Weiner, Chief Executive, said: “The last twelve months have been challenging, to say the least, and this is reflected in our results.

“Confidence briefly returned to the market in early 2020 with strong interest in commercial and residential space following the General Election. 

“However, the onset of Covid-19 caused most decision-making and development progress to grind to a halt.

“The socio-economic impact of Covid-19 will continue, at least for the short-term, driving new trends and behaviours.

However, the challenges of Covid-19 bring about real opportunities for companies like ours as they accelerate the structural need for inspiring, affordable, convenient mixed-use spaces where communities can thrive. 

“Our business model, centred on regenerating underestimated sites, often too complex for others, means we are particularly well-placed to benefit from this demand, as – more than ever – the public and private sector rely on trusted partners to help them to unlock value from their existing assets, many of which are rich in history and character.

“It is also a time to consider opportunistic acquisitions that strengthen our development, trading and investment pipeline.

“Our existing pipeline is primed for the delivery phase, with resolution to grant planning or planning consent already in place for over 6 million sq ft across our portfolio.

We have responded quickly to the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic, strengthening our balance sheet and accelerating our efficiencies programme, which will enable us to emerge stronger once markets start to normalise. 

“Our size, agility and distinctive approach, combined with our efficient capital structure, give us confidence that we will deliver on our future targets.  

“We are excited about the opportunities ahead for our business and remain focused on our purpose – to unlock potential for all through regeneration.”

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