New financial statements, 29 February, from Earls Court and Olympia owners Capital and Counties (CapCo), show the company’s total property portfolio valued at £1.6bn, up 9.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis.
That portfolio, now mostly focussed on upmarket retail property in central London, no longer includes The Brewery, which was sold last month to an unnamed buyer.
The annual financial statement from CapCo notes the successful completion of the West Hall events centre construction at Olympia in the period under review.
The EC&O Venues business “demonstrated resilience during 2011” according to the notes to the accounts, this despite the uncertainty caused by the planning process at Earls Court. CapCo’s EBITDA was £18.5m, down two per cent from 2010, while the valuation of Olympia increased four per cent during the year to £121m.
The company said the situation around the closure of the weekday District Line tube service at Olympia had been “managed” through the retention of services supporting certain exhibitions as well as improvements to the West London Line, now running more frequently.
EC&O claims the number of shows across both its venues secured substantial increases in visitor figures year-on-year, despite noting several events had moved out.
“In the short term we expect performance across the venues to continue to be impacted due to the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Earls Court venue,” the company statement said.
“However, the Group’s investment into Olympia, including a further £10m in 2012, provides opportunities to develop the venues business over the medium term.”
Financial analysts noted the shift in Capco’s focus to the West End and its booming Covent Garden property portfolio.
CapCo Properties Chief Executive Ian Hawksworth, said: “The transformation of Covent Garden into one of the most vibrant retail and leisure destinations in London continues to create value and attract new brands, whilst the recent resolution to grant planning consent for our Seagrave Road development is an important milestone in our progress with the Earls Court Masterplan following the submission of our planning applications in June. I am confident that Capco’s place-making vision, creative teams and central London-focused assets will provide considerable opportunities in both the retail and residential markets during 2012.”
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