Evening Standard report on Citibase’s best ever sales quarter despite Brexit fears.17/08/2016
“Brexit is accelerating the trend for small business to seek flexible office space” Citibase, the UK’s leading independent operator of business centres, has just seen its best three months of sales ever in the period leading up to, during and after Brexit. May, June and July this year saw the best volume of business across the operator’s UK portfolio, including those within the M25, in nearly a quarter century of trading. Indeed, Citibase’s seven centres in Greater London, encompassing Millbank, Victoria, Mortlake, Woolwich, Finchley, Croydon and Watford saw the value of new contracts signed in the three months to 31 July 2016, increase by 174% in comparison to the same period last year. Citibase saw deal volumes rise particularly strongly and new business volumes across the whole London portfolio were up by 37%. “Contrary to all the doom-mongers, SMEs have been quick to respond and find a solution to their office needs following the vote to leave Europe, both in the month before, during and after”, said Steve Jude, CEO of Citibase plc. “I believe Brexit matters less to many SMEs than to larger corporates. SMEs are more nimble and will continue exporting and operating regardless of the vote to leave the EU, as will our many more traditional, domestic customers, who serve local markets. These and other small businesses will always find a way to thrive and shedding the inflexible long-term financial burden of a long-term lease in favour of flexible officing should be an essential part of their new survival tool kit”. This flexible philosophy also applies to landlords and building owners, who are similarly impacted by sudden change. The Group believes that those owners and landlords who see Brexit as an additional catalyst hastening the end to long-term tenancies, should be open to taking out a management contract with a serviced office provider – such as Citibase, who through proven expertise, are able to convert their under-utilised space into a cash-generating and asset value-enhancing business centre and so reap the benefits of flexible office tenure. Last year, Citibase made £8m for landlords and building owners using this formula – a tenfold increase in just seven years. Steve concluded, “Certainty breeds comfort and recent events have shown us the mirror image of that equation holds true. In uncertain times, we all need flexibility to adapt to change, good or bad. Being tied up in knots doesn’t suit anyone. Small wonder, then, that SMEs, which thrive on being agile, crave more flexibility too and that craving is clearly accelerating the trend towards flexible serviced office space”. You can read the Evening Standard article by clicking here.