Nov 20, 2020

Investors Chronicle: HomeServe, easyJet, Big Yellow

Offering subscription-based maintenance assistance, the group's membership business saw sales rise by 8 per cent year-on-year in the six months to September 30 to £437m. With growth led by North America, this translated to overall adjusted operating profit climbing by 17 per cent to £44m. The decline in statutory profits reflects the previous year benefiting from the proceeds of business disposals. HomeServe spent £47m on nine acquisitions during the half, pushing net debt up 15 per cent from the March year-end position to £587m. Equivalent to two times adjusted cash profits, this is as at upper end of the group's target multiple range of between one and two, although leverage is expected to come down in the second half. Consensus forecasts are for losses per share of 61.4p in 2021, followed by earnings per share of 56.9p in 2022. As the occupancy rate in its like-for-like portfolio approaches 90 per cent - sitting at just over 87 per cent at the end of September - that is also giving the self-storage specialist greater pricing power, management said. Average achieved net rent per square/foot was 2.2 per cent higher.

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