Capco shows strong Earls Court growth

Capco’s figures, announced this week, show strong asset value growth at Earls Court, and good perfomance at Olympia.

The £20m development of Olympia’s West Hall, now open for business, has increased the venue’s ability to host simultaneous shows, and enabled Earls Court & Olympia (ECO) to post a strong commercial performance despite the planned reduction in capacity at Earls Court.

The proposals for Earls Court reached several milestones during the year reported, in particular the launch of Sir Terry Farrell’s Masterplan and the consent for the scheme at Seagrave Road, on which they are now in a JV with the Hong Kong based Kwok family. This has led their independent valuer to increase the asset value of the Earls Court land significantly.

Earls Court

Capco say they have made significant progress in the past 12 months in respect of their holdings in Earls Court. Sir Terry Farrell’s Masterplan, launched in March, based around his vision of “Four Urban Villages and a 21st Century High Street”, provides a blueprint for a multi-billion pound investment.

In June the Group submitted outline planning applications for the whole scheme, and a detailed application for a residential scheme at Seagrave Road – a total of 11 million square feet of new space across 77 acres. The Seagrave Road project received a resolution to grant consent in February 2012.

As a result of the progress on the scheme, Capco’s interests at Earls Court have been revalued from £138 million to £195 million, implying a valuation of £8.6 million
per acre across the Group’s 23 acres at Earls Court. The independent valuer has changed the basis of valuation to a land valuation with regard for redevelopment potential in light of the progress through the planning process.

Capco say their immediate priorities for the Earls Court Masterplan are to secure planning consents across the wider area and to conclude the commercial transactions with London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and Transport for London.

Olympia

The events business at Earls Court and Olympia performed well in a challenging market, with EBITDA falling only 2 per cent to £18.5 million. The £20 million investment in the West Hall redevelopment at Olympia helped the EC&O Venues business show its strength, despite the uncertainty caused by the planning process at Earls Court.

37 new exhibitions were contracted to the venues in 2011 which helped to offset the loss of other shows, and 15 new shows have already been confirmed for 2012. New exhibitions contracted in 2011 included Landscape, the London Pet Show and the Ideal Home Show At Christmas which welcomed more than 80,000 visitors – making it the biggest new UK exhibition in 20 years.

The valuation of Olympia increased 4 per cent during the year to £121 million. This partly reflects the completion of the West Hall in Olympia which provides 97,000 square feet of flexible space to complement the existing Grand and National Halls and the Olympia Two Building.

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