Harworth Group hails 'significant progress' following major restructure

Regeneration specialist Harworth Group has hailed ‘significant progress’ in the first half of its financial year following a company restructure but warned that economic uncertainty would be ‘much higher’ in the second half.

The Rotherham-based firm, which a year ago unveiled its ambitious strategy to double the size of its business over the next five to seven years, reported operating profit of £99.9m for the six months ended June 30, 2022, up from £76.5m in the same period of 2021.

EPRA NDV (net disposal value) per share increased by 13.7 per cent to 224.7p.

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Over the last 12 months, the company has created 30 new jobs across the business, increasing its workforce by over a third to 110 employees

Further development is underway at Gateway 36 in Barnsley.Further development is underway at Gateway 36 in Barnsley.
Further development is underway at Gateway 36 in Barnsley.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, chief executive Lynda Shillaw said: “Writing the strategy is one thing but making sure you’ve got the skills to deliver it is another. We’ve been hiring across all our teams as we’ve increased the volume of activity and we’ve been successful in hiring in a difficult market. There’s been a real shortage of highly-skilled people available.”

During the period, Harworth Group completed its largest serviced residential land sale to date; the £29m sale of a plot at Waverley with the potential for 450 homes to Barratt and David Wilson Homes.

Harworth said that 97 per cent of its budgeted industrial and logistics land sales for the year have completed, exchanged or are in heads of terms.

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Following the end of the period, the company also reached practical completion on 432,000 sq ft of development, including 332,000 sq ft of space at Bardon Hill, Leicestershire.

Development is underway on a further 203,000 sq ft at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Waverley and Gateway 36, Barnsley.

The company also recently announced that it had completed the sale of Kellingley development site in North Yorkshire for £54m.

Ms Shillaw said: "Harworth made significant operational and financial progress in the first half. We undertook a record level of direct development in our industrial and logistics portfolio, continued to accelerate our residential sales, and made several acquisitions to grow our development pipeline.

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"It is our management actions that have materially contributed to the growth in EPRA NDV, supported by the strong market during the period for our residential and industrial and logistics products, demonstrating that we are continuing to deliver successfully against our growth strategy outlined a year ago.”

Looking ahead, she added: “We’re guiding that we think value gains will be skewed to the first half of the year. The level of economic uncertainty is much higher as we look at the second half.

"We’ve got two really strong sectors in residential and industrial but they are starting to come off their all-time-highs. Rising interest rates and rising inflation at some point do start to have an impact but for us they are still the right sectors to be in. We don’t just rely on the market and all of the work we do is driving value so we will continue those activities across our portfolio, which should offset what’s happening in the market.”