Mailbox REIT PLC, the owner of the Mailbox development in Birmingham, said it put in a strong finish to 2021.
The Mailbox development’s valuation improved for the third consecutive quarter since the trust’s flotation, rising to £185.83mln at the end of 2021, reflecting a 1% improvement in the final quarter of 2021 and an increase of 2.6% over the year.
At the end of 2021, the trust’s net asset value (NAV) was calculated at £85.95mln, equivalent to 101.3p if the interim dividend paid in November is included in the valuation, down a share from £86.47mln (101.91p a share) at the end of September.
Today the trust declared a fourth-quarter dividend of 1.75p, bringing the total pay-out for the year to 7p.
As of 17 January 2022, Mailbox REIT had collected 93.9% of the contractual rents for the quarter commencing 25 December 2021. Of the remaining 6.1% due during the quarter, 5.7% is expected to be collected through monthly payments, with the remaining 0.3% under discussions, bringing the total collection to just over 99%.
The real estate investment trust (REIT) has now collected 99.2% of total contractual rent demands for the September 2021 quarter day and expects to match these collection levels for the December 2021 quarter day.
Since the beginning of 2021, the group has collected 97.7% of rent due, with the office and car parking tenants continuing to pay 100% of their rent demands.
The fourth quarter of 2021 saw further leasing activity with the completion of 15,000 square feet of leases on vacant space, further reducing Mailbox's current overall vacancy to less than 5%. This included signing a new lease with Castle Fine Art, which already operates a gallery in the retail space and has taken 8,000 square feet of office space to house its national headquarters, as well as Sixes cricket club, which will open its doors as the latest addition to the F&B offering in January 2022. These leasing deals will add a further £400,000 of income upon expiry of rent-free periods, the REIT revealed.
"The final quarter of 2021 saw Mailbox REIT deliver another positive performance, rounding off what was a strong first year as a public company. Our main asset management initiative which will see the conversion of 50,000 sq ft of retail space to higher value office accommodation is due to open in Q2'2022, providing Birmingham with a brand-new flexible workspace operated under IWG's Spaces brand. In addition, we have secured new office and F&B leases adding further tenants to our roster of low-risk occupiers, while also maintaining strong rent collection figures. All this activity supports our ability to continue paying a dividend in line with our 7 pence per share IPO target, as announced today," said Stephen Barter, non-executive chairman of Mailbox REIT.
"Working with M7, the board has also made the company's focus on ESG an important priority and our approach to being a responsible landlord, including setting out the Mailbox's path to net zero, will be addressed in detail in the full annual report, alongside our other community and environmental credentials. We recognise that this has an important role not just in helping create a better and greener future for generations to come but is also vital to Mailbox's ability to attracting tenants and growing income," he added.