Property firm to ‘keep exploring opportunities’

BLACKROCK International Land, the property development spin-off from fruit distribution giant Fyffes, has said that it will continue exploring further investment opportunities despite more challenging market conditions.

In a trading update, for the year to date, Blackrock, which has property assets both here and in Britain and plans to up its presence in the continental European market, said that, since the turn of the year, it has made progress in adding value to “several of its significant development properties“.

The statement also said, while no significant transactions have been concluded during the current calendar year so far, Blackrock has continued to explore “a substantial number of opportunities” on the investment front.

“Despite the changed market conditions in the property sector since the latter part of 2007, Blackrock has continued to advance its strategic objective to build a substantial international property business with a clear focus on development opportunities, supported by a strong investment portfolio,” the company said.

Yesterday’s trading update added that, pending formal valuations at the end of this month by external valuers and excluding the impact of the strengthening of the euro against sterling, Blackrock is targeting “an unchanged net asset value per share at the half-year mark.”

“The impact of sterling translation at the current exchange rate would be a reduction of slightly over half a cent per share. It seems prudent, at this stage, not to assume any growth in net asset value per share for the full year.

“While it is disappointing that the work being undertaken to develop the company’s portfolio has not yet been reflected in an overall increase in values, the board believes that its continuing efforts will deliver benefits for shareholders in due course,” it added.


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