Royal Mail – The New Property Company?

One of my colleagues Blogged a few months ago about the potential for some large companies to focus more on their property assets than perhaps they have done in the past.  The trend for more intensive development on sites, particularly inner urban locations in the south east has grown stronger over the last few years.  Examples of companies who may have underutilised property assets included National Grid and the other power companies.  The major supermarket operators are also the subject of speculation that their underlying asset values – the property bricks and mortar are potentially undervalued and do not get the attention back to me that perhaps they deserve.

Reading an article in MoneyWeek about the Royal Mail, brought the issue of how seriously some companies should perhaps look at their property in more detail, right back to me.

The article suggests that Royal Mail may be better seen as a property company rather than one providing a ‘universal postal service’.  With dwindling revenues from delivering post perhaps paying more attention to developing their considerable property portfolio may reap greater rewards.

The Guardian was reporting barely 2 weeks ago that Royal Mail may collect over £660 million from the sale of Nine Elms Centre in London for development of ‘luxury flats’.  The 14 acre site will provide nearly 2,000 new homes.

Royal Mail have also sold two other valuable pieces of London real estate – one at Paddington Station the other at Mount Pleasant, Farringdon.

By pointing out that Royal Mail has such substantial property assets this is a message for all companies to properly consider the property assets that they have.  As a company, we advise clients and help them extract the true and full value from their property assets.  Whether working planning strategies for alternative use or looking at consolidation strategies or relocations that add value and better support companies in their day to day work.

For property advice contact one of us who specialises in Corporate Support at Harris Lamb.