Town Centre Securities ‘set fair for economic recovery’

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TOWN CENTRE Securities, one of Yorkshire’s biggest property investors and developers, said it is well placed to take advantage of early signs of economic improvement.

The listed Leeds firm said its investment property and car park operations are performing well and in line with the board’s expectations.

TCS said it is progressing a number of development opportunities at the Merrion Centre and Whitehall Riverside in Leeds, in Glasgow and elsewhere.

Edward Ziff, chairman, told The Yorkshire Post: “We remain well placed to see the value of our estate improve, but it is hard work. There was a time when property was very easy and right now that is how it feels in London. You come back to Leeds and see for-sale signs on buildings that have been there so long they are taking root.

“There is a two-speed economy in the UK.”

But he added: “There is some really good stuff going on in Leeds in terms of Trinity Leeds shopping centre, which is clearly established, Hammerson on site with the Victoria Gate scheme and the similar initiative around the Merrion Centre well under way.

“We are set fair and continue to plough our own furrow as we have always.”

TCS said its investments in the core cities of Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow remained well let in the period from January 1 to May 16.

Portfolio occupancy stood at 97.2 per cent.

TCS said rent collection remains strong with over 99 per cent of our quarter day rents collected within five days.

Mr Ziff said the company has bought properties in north London. “I quite like the London suburbs - you get a bit of the rub of central London without having to pay such competitive prices,” he added.

As of May 15, TCS had gross borrowings of £156.4m. TCS said it has three term loan facilities, together totalling £90m, with maturity dates in late 2015 and 2016 and a £5m overdraft facility.

“There is significant headroom in our facilities and we are operating well within our loan to value and interest cover covenants,” said the company, which was founded by Arnold Ziff in 1959.

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