By Malcolm Stacey | Wednesday 8 March 2017
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Hello Share Shellers. Some of my formative years as a broadcaster were at BBC Radio Leeds. It was in the centre of that fair city in a shopping paradise called the the Merrion Centre. Happy days!
Today the Merrion Centre is run by an on-the-ball outfit called Town Centre Securities (TOWN). The Merrion Centre has more than 10 million customers annually. They visit big name tenants, like Morrisons (MRW) and Sainsbury (SBRY). Sometimes town centre shopping malls are almost deserted these days. But not this one. The company also does car parking and office lets.
It concentrates on the 'grim north' - including Manchester and Scotland. But it is also cannily buying up property in the London suburbs, presumably as a way of cashing in on the South’s comparative prosperity. At present, three quarters of its income comes from the North.
The family-run company has a dividend of 3.4% and the p/e I have is only 6.72, well below my usual limit of 20. Now here’s an encouraging statistic for you. The firm has been a public company for 56 years, during which time it has either maintained or increased its divi. How’s that for reliability.
The word in the City is that profits will be up by a fifth this year. And the upward trend, based on previous history, is likely to continue beyond 2017. Town Centre Securities is not the biggest company of its type, with a market cap of £160 million, but it is showing its bigger brothers the way.
Shopping outside the net may not be so strong in the future, but I see no early signs that this kind of activity - an obsession with many folk - is dying out. There is also a feeling that business rates have become so high that a reduction is inevitable.This will of course help corporate property owners like Town Centre Securities.
And now it’s over we go to the Punter’s Return.
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