LONDON (Alliance News) - Lok'nStore Group PLC shares rose early Monday after it reported strong growth in profit and revenue in the first half of its financial year, driven by strong demand for its growing number of self-storage units and higher sales of document storage.
The company reported a pretax profit of GBP1.5 million for the six months to January 31, up from GBP916,000 a year earlier, as revenue rose to GBP7.6 million from GBP6.7 million.
It raised its interim dividend to 2.33 pence, from 2.00p a year earlier.
Revenue from the self-storage operations rose to GBP6.7 million from GBP5.8 million, driven by a 5.5% rise in the space let and a 6.7% increase in unit pricing. Store earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 27% to GBP3.7 million, as the margin rose to 54.6% from 49.6%.
Document storage revenue rose 4.3% to GBP0.9 million, with the number of boxes stored up by a third on the year and the number of tapes up 7.3%.
"Trading at the new Reading and Maidenhead stores has been good underpinning our confidence that the further new stores in Aldershot, Chichester, Southampton and Bristol opening over the coming eighteen months will add further impetus to sales and profit growth," Chief Executive Andrew Jacobs said.
"The strength of the existing business, good asset management and Lok'nStore's conservative debt means that this major expansion can be financed out of cash flow and our existing bank facility. This will enable the business to continue to deliver increasing dividends for our shareholders," he added.
The company's net debt stood at GBP24.3 million at the end of the half, down from GBP25.4 million a year earlier.
Lok'nStore Group shares were up 2.9% at 282.00 pence early Monday.
By Steve McGrath; firstname.lastname@example.org; @stevemcgrath1
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