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Urban Splash returns to profit

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Regeneration specialist Urban Splash has returned to profit following a major restructuring of the company’s debt

The company saw its its turnover increase from £33.6million to £132.6million in the twelve months ending September 2013, recording a small profit of £50,000 compared to a £15.4million loss the previous year.

In July 2013 Urban Splash sold off 654 flats, including Will Alsop’s Chips apartment block in Manchester and schemes in Bradford, Leeds, Stalybridge and Bristol to social housing landlord Places for People in a deal worth £77 million.

In April the company restructured its banking arrangements and, working in partnership with The Pears Group, agreed to refinance £135million of its existing debts.

The improvement in performance was welcomed by Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham, who said that the past 18 months had been among the most turbulent in its history.

Bloxham said: ‘I hope having survived the worst economic downturn I can remember, restructured our business, formed new joint ventures with some very significant and substantial partners we will be well placed to continue delivering award winning regeneration schemes and much needed new homes and work spaces up and down the country.

‘This financial year saw us successfully conclude a fundamental restructure and refinance of our business which has addressed the legacy debt position of the Group and created a new corporate structure enabling us to grow, start new development projects and form new joint venture relationships which we believe will be key to the future.’

Urban Splash’s balance sheet position worsened largely as a result of a £16.3 million downward revaluation of the group’s commercial properties reflecting that regional commercial property values remained depressed in the period, however we have seen recent signs of improvements in values.

Previous story (AJ 03.01.13)

Urban Splash sees losses and debts increase

Manchester-based regeneration specialist Urban Splash has posted another set of gloomy figures which show an increase in losses to £15.4 million

This 65 per cent rise in the company’s net losses for the year ending 31 March 2012 - the loss was £9.3 million in 2011 - comes as the award-winning outfit confirmed an increase in net debt levels of £8million to £242.4million in its latest accounts.

Urban Splash, which recently parted with long-standing directors Nick Johnson and Guy Jackson (see AJ 18.10.2012), also moved from a positive net assets position of £4.9million in 2011 to net liabilities of £17.4million in 2012. Over the same 12 months its worksforce shrank from 142 to 117 and a ‘revaluation of its commercial properties’ showed a reduction in value of £6.9million in 2012 from £10.3 million in 2011.

However the company, which has worked with some of the country’s best and up-and-coming architects, did see its turnover increase 16 per cent from £29.1million in 2012 to £33.6million.

In a statement which accompanied the figures, Urban Splash chairman and co-founder Tom Bloxham said: ‘The general economic malaise and downward pressure on valuations has had an impact on our commercial property portfolio, while the continued lack of availability of mortgage finance has acted as a barrier to potential homebuyers for our residential portfolio.’

He added: ‘We are currently engaged with all our funders in negotiating new bank facilities for the medium term [the company owes HSBC £90.6million] however this process has not been concluded at the time of siging these financial statements [5 December].



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