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Lok'nStore reports positive first-half progress

(Sharecast News) - Self-storage operator Lok'nStore reported a continued positive trajectory in its operations in a first-half trading update on Tuesday. The AIM-traded company said self-storage revenue saw a healthy increase of 4.9% compared to the same period last year, complemented by a 4% rise in prices per square foot.

During the period, Lok'nStore said it made significant progress in expanding its portfolio.

The firm successfully opened two new 'landmark' stores - one in Basildon and another in Kettering.

Additionally, plans were underway for the opening of new stores in Staines and Bromborough in 2024.

The developments were expected to add a total of 211,600 square feet of trading space to Lok'nStore's portfolio, further strengthening its presence in the UK self-storage market.

It said the Basildon store, which was its first purpose-built leasehold site, opened in December and had shown promising early trading results.

Similarly, the newly-opened store in Kettering further added to Lok'nStore's footprint in Northamptonshire.

Work was ongoing for the fit-out of a new landmark store in Staines, which was set to open in the spring.

Additionally, preparations were being made for the Bromborough store, scheduled to open in the autumn.

The board said the expansion efforts aligned with its commitment to addressing the undersupplied self-storage market in the UK.

The company also said it had received formal planning permission for a new store in Barking, London, which was poised to be its largest store yet at 84,000 square feet.

Furthermore, plans for a new freehold store in Eastbourne were expected to materialise in the coming weeks, further bolstering Lok'nStore's presence in strategic locations.

In a move aimed at optimising its financial position, Lok'nStore said it secured fixed interest rates on £10m of its floating-rate debt, resulting in estimated interest savings of around £0.2m compared to its previous arrangements.

"Trading in the first half of the 2024 financial year has been positive with self-storage revenue up 4.9% on the same period last year," said chair Andrew Jacobs.

"We continue to deliver on our strategy of opening more new stores in the under-supplied self-storage market."

Jacobs said the company had made significant progress on its new store pipeline, with the Basildon store opening in December, the Kettering managed store in February and two more stores due to open in 2024 in Staines and Bromborough.

"These new stores are anticipated to add further momentum to sales, earnings and net asset growth."

Lok'nStore Group said it would announce its interim results for the period ended 31 January in the second half of April.

At 1410 GMT, shares in Lok'nStore Group were down 1.73% at 795p.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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