Tritax Big Box reports good start to 2021

Tritax Big Box said rent collection was strong and demand for space was high in the first quarter of 2021.
The warehouse investor said it had collected 99.8% of 2020 rents with full collection expected by the summer. For the first quarter of 2021, 98% of rents have been paid and for the second quarter the figure is 95%, Tritax said in a statement before its annual general meeting.

Tritax said 37% of its warehouses were due for rent review in 2021 promising good levels of rental growth. It carried out a third of the reviews in the first quarter, adding £3.1m to contracted rent.

The FTSE 250 group said market fundamentals were strong with high demand for logistics space after a record year of take-up in 2020. Businesses such as Amazon and Hello Fresh are expanding their warehouse requirements as households move their shopping online.

Tritax owns land capable of housing 40m sq ft of logistics space. It reported rising levels of interest as sites went through the planning process. It predicted an acceleration in letting activity in the second half of 2021.

Colin Godfrey, the company’s chief executive of fund management, said: “We have made a good start to the year across all aspects of our business through a combination of effectively implementing our strategy and strong market fundamentals. The quality of our portfolio continues to be reflected in very high levels of rent collection while our asset management activities are enhancing value.

“Our development platform is making good progress and, in line with our guidance, with more of our sites progressing through the planning process, we are well placed to begin capturing greater letting opportunities from the second half of this year.”

Take-up in the first quarter was lower than average because of an acute shortage of sites ready to occupy, Tritax said. A record 16m sq ft of logistics space is under offer and take-up is expected to rise, it added. Recent transactions show further pressure on prime yields, which are at historic lows.

The company’s shares were little changed at 189.70p at 10:57 BST.

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