Saturday 22 July 2017

Stars to align for U2 studio redeveloper

Profits expected: Hibernia REIT CEO Kevin Nowlan. Photo: El Keegan
Profits expected: Hibernia REIT CEO Kevin Nowlan. Photo: El Keegan

Gretchen Friemann

Hibernia REIT, the listed landlord redeveloping U2's old recording studio in Dublin's docklands, looks set to unveil another leap in annual profits this week as Ireland's fast-paced economic growth continues to propel prime office rents higher.

The bullish outlook comes amid heightened expectations of an influx of Brexit-related jobs after JPMorgan confirmed plans to move at least 1,000 employees to the capital earlier this month.

Hibernia's flurry of recent leasing agreements, including a pre-letting deal at Windmill Lane, where U2 recorded some of its best known tracks, has provided concrete evidence of the increased demand for office space, prompting predictions of a post-results fillip for the share price.

The real estate investment trust (Reit), led by CEO Kevin Nowlan, publishes its full year 2017 numbers tomorrow with Goodbody pencilling in a near 20pc increase in property income to €40.1m. In a note to clients last week, the analyst Colm Lauder argued this figure "will grow further through FY18 as developments complete, rent reviews are negotiated and incentives expire".

Irish Independent

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