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Peel’s land division narrows losses

Turnover up - but so is the debt

Published on December 7th 2010.

Peel’s land division narrows losses

PEEL Group’s land and property division increased its turnover and pre-tax profits during the year, but ended up making a loss overall.

Newly-filed accounts for Peel Holdings (Land and Property) Ltd show the Port of Liverpool owner, which has just received planning permission for Wirral Waters, recorded turnover of £91m for the year to March 31, 2010, compared to £82m in 2009.

Profits at the firm, controlled by Isle of Man-based John Whittaker, shot up to £56.5m (2009: £48m), but £64m of interest and charges pushed the firm to a loss of £3.8m for the year, an improvement of the £39m it lost a year earlier.

The debt of the group also increased however, to £907m, compared to £888m the year before.

The company’s commercial rent roll dipped by £3m to £66m. It is still spending £5m a year on empty rates charges, on the 958,000 sq ft of space it has vacant. The firm had more than 1m sq ft sat empty in 2009, however.

The company controls a 25,000-acre land portfolio. It is in the final stages of completing MediaCity on Salford Quays, and has submitted proposals for Liverpool Waters, the UK’s largest planning application. Last June, it was given planning consent for the 1.5m sq ft Port Salford.

It also said it intended to progress planning work on its £50bn ‘Ocean Gateway’ scheme, which links Liverpool and Manchestervia the ship canal corridor.

The firm employed 133 people during the year, with a wage bill of £7.9m The highest-paid director received £343,000. It also contributed £7m to charity during the year, an increase on the £1m it dished out to worthy causes during 2009.

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