4 May 2020 – Conditional Contract Exchange and Covid-19 update

Hargreaves Land has announced the exchange of the first major commercial contract on Unity, a mixed use development site located at Hatfield, South Yorkshire.  Unity is a joint venture with regional developer Waystone Limited and consists of 250 hectares of land, of which 60 hectares is allocated for employment and commercial uses with the remainder having planning consent for residential development.  The joint venture has exchanged conditional contracts for the sale of a 32 hectare plot to a national retailer for the development of a 75,000 sq metre national distribution centre and training facility. The sale will realise approximately £25m of revenue for the joint venture on legal completion.  It is conditional upon the grant of planning permission and construction of a new access road, with legal completion currently expected to be around the middle of 2021.  Turning to the impact of Covid-19, all business areas except the Property business are continuing to trade in line with expectations.  The planned residential land sales at Blindwells, which were previously expected to complete in May 2020, will not take place in the current financial year.  A further update on trading is due out in early June following the end of the current financial year on 31 May.  This is a solid business which remains good value.  BUY.