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Big Yellow revenue rises on increased occupancy

(Sharecast News) – Big Yellow said increased occupancy drove revenue higher in the third quarter as households and businesses sought storage space during the Covid-19 crisis.
Revenue for the three months to the end of December rose 7.4% to £34.7m as like-for-like revenue rose 6.6%, the self-storage company said. Growth has continued in the fourth quarter, Big Yellow said in an update.

Occupancy at the end of what is usually Big Yellow’s weakest quarter quarter was 82.9%, up from 79.9% a year earlier, and like-for-like occupancy rose 5.8 percentage points to 85.7%. Business move-ins rose 18, domestic move-ins were up 11% and move-outs fell 1%.

After an early dip, the FTSE 250 group has gained from the Covid-19 crisis as businesses have taken on more storage space to sell online. The booming housing market, spurred by the stamp duty holiday, has increased business from households and people have put belongings in storage as they reassess their lives in light of the pandemic.

James Gibson, Big Yellow’s chief executive, said: “This has been our best occupancy performance in the third quarter for many years. The main driver of this occupancy performance has been our domestic customer base, although business demand has also continued to improve.

“Awareness of our product has accelerated during this difficult time, as people reflect on how they live their lives or operate their businesses. The structural tail winds which have been accelerated by this health crisis continue to outweigh the economic head winds, in so far as they impact our demand.

Gibson said at the start of the fourth quarter prospects and occupancy were growing though visibility of future demand is limited to between two and four weeks. On 12 January the company had collected 98.1% of third quarter revenue in line with a year earlier.

Big Yellow shares rose 1% to £10.89.66 at 09:18 GMT.

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