Simon Clarke’s regeneration specialists St Modwen have taken a battering as the construction and property markets turn down. Plummeting land and property values have taken a big bite out of the Clarke family’s 28.3 per cent stake.
In its six month interim results to May 31, 2009, St Modwen saw its pre-tax losses slump to £98.3 million from £20 million the previous year.
Along with many other companies in the same sector, write-downs in the book value of the company’s land and property assets was the biggest reason for the fall, and like many companies in the sector, share values have taken a downturn.
However, St Modwen has been able to point to a number of positives, including a successful £107.4 million share issue – of which the Clarke family took up a substantial percentage of their entitlement – stable rent levels, and the ownership of sites which benefit from value-boosting planning permission.
Simon Clarke, aged 44, is taking an active part in the running of the Quinton-based St Modwen, the company founded by his late father Sir Stan Clarke who died in 2004, following the sale of the family stake in Dunstall-based Northern Racing in 2007.
The Clarke family owns 28.3 per cent of St Modwen, which is involved in many high profile projects, none more so than the 15-year £1 billion regeneration of the massive Longbridge site. St Modwen remains committed to the project and is taking a long term view. Holder Mathias has recently been appointed as architects for the development of a new town centre for Longbridge.
The regeneration project will eventually see the transformation of the 468-acre site with a new Bournville College, 2,000 new homes, new office space and the Innovation Centre which has already attracted many occupiers.
St, Modwen is also involved in major town centre regeneration projects in Hatfield, Basingstoke and Wythenshawe, and other major developments in Accrington, West Ruislip and Quedgeley in Gloucestershire.
Other projects on the St Modwen books include an 80,000 sq ft Vodaphone call centre building at Stoke-on-Trent which was sold for £10.7 million, a development project at Coombs Wood in Halesowen, and the £100 million project to develop the Dudley Zoo site.
All of this, along with his farm and redevelopment projects on his Staffordshire estate, are more than enough to keep Simon Clarke busy.