COMMERCIAL property firm Bruntwood yesterday confirmed that it was “pushing forward” with plans to revamp a major office building in Yorkshire, as it reported an increase in full year profits and revenue.
Bruntwood is in talks with a number of parties who are interested in moving in to the 14-storey City House, which stands next to Leeds Railway Station.
In a sign that the commercial property market could be about to undergo a revival, Bruntwood revealed that it had just recorded its best year for new lettings since 2007.
In the year ending September 2012, the company’s profit increased 10 per cent to £12.4m. Turnover rose six per cent to £105m. Net worth fell to £303m, down five per cent from 2011, which the company attributed to the knock-on effect of the recession on the property market.
After securing a new £120m 10 year facility with Legal and General in January, Bruntwood’s group refinancing has taken another step forward, after it secured agreement for a £229m extension of its Commercial Mortgage Backed Securitisation (CMBS).
Chief financial officer Kevin Crotty said: “In recent weeks we have secured nearly two thirds of our group refinancing requirements. Agreeing a new 10 year facility and passing a unanimous CMBS extension vote is a strong show of confidence for the group, and demonstrates that there is demand out there for the right proposition”.
According to chief executive Chris Oglesby, the business is growing into new sectors, and 2013 will be one of its busiest years for new developments.
He added: “In addition to all this, we’re pushing forward with our ambitious plans for City House in Leeds”.
City House was bought by Bruntwood in July 2010 and the company hopes to have it ready for occupation this year.
In January, Craig Burrow, the director of Bruntwood’s Leeds operations, revealed City House had attracted interest from a wide range of potential users.
He said at the time: “There could be multiple uses for the building – one possibility is a hotel, but there could also be interest in using it as offices and a gym.”