Ediston’s EPIC trust eyes more property deals

Ediston's Danny O'Neill said there were 'good opportunities to buy assets and make money'. Picture: Contributed
Ediston's Danny O'Neill said there were 'good opportunities to buy assets and make money'. Picture: Contributed
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Ediston Property Investment Company (EPIC) is eyeing further acquisitions and planning to raise equity to take advantage of such opportunities.

The trust, which launched on the London Stock Exchange in 2014, commented as it reported its results for the six months to 31 March.

Pre-tax profit came in at £4.5 million with a net asset value total return of 3.3 per cent and it purchased two properties in the period, with its portfolio now comprising 13 assets. Property assets under management reached £181.1m at March 31 from £136.4m at 30 September with its vacancy rate down to 5.5 per cent from 7.4 per cent over the same period.

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Danny O’Neill, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Ediston Properties, which manages the trust, told The Scotsman that its letting of a site in Birmingham to US retailer David’s Bridal will bring the vacancy rate closer to 5 per cent.

He said that overall while the half-year looked like a quiet period, “actually we’ve been quite active” while working to “squeeze” maximum value out of its assets.

“If you look at the underlying characteristics of property, if you’re investing in the regions of the United Kingdom, there are good opportunities to buy assets and make money, and we have been looking at assets,” he said.

O’Neill, formerly of Standard Life Investments, added that the next six months will be interesting for the firm, as long as investors “back us and give us the cash to invest in those opportunities that I think we’ll find”.