Landlord Shaftesbury hails West End resilience
today Nov 26, 2019
Shaftesbury, which owns a 5.2-acre portfolio in the heart of London's West End, has announced a ‘resilient performance’ for the year ended 30 September despite a faltering UK economy.
The property firm said it has seen increased retailer demand for smaller units, as Brexit uncertainty and low consumer confidence has impacted their appetite to take on new commitments.
However, the company reassured shareholders that the West End continues to retain its status as a global destination, and insisted that the breadth and scale of the portfolio will continue to provide a considerable degree of insulation from economic headwinds.
The group reported a 4.5% increase in net property income to £98m in 2019 following a 4.9% like-for-like increase in rental income. However, pre-tax profit fell significantly from £175m last year to £26m in 2018 due to revaluation deficits.
"In a year dominated by domestic political uncertainties and a slowing national economy, the qualities of our portfolio, business model and proven strategy, together, have delivered a resilient performance,” said Brian Bickell, chief executive.
“Our skill in curating distinctive, prosperous destinations, which combine authentic experiences and innovative choices, is complemented by our long experience in continually adapting our buildings to meet trends in demand, occupier requirements and stringent environmental standards.”
Shaftesbury’s portfolio is clustered mainly in Carnaby Street, Seven Dials and Chinatown, but also includes substantial ownerships in East and West Covent Garden, Soho and Fitzrovia.
It said it saw “robust” demand from a wide range of domestic and international occupiers. To meet the smaller size requirements of cost-conscious brands, the group is reconfiguration and dividing units, resulting in lower fit out and accommodation costs for occupiers.
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