Profits jump at British Land as Covid restrictions ease

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Wednesday 18 May 2022

Profits jump at British Land as Covid restrictions ease

(Sharecast News) - British Land, the FTSE 100 property giant, said on Wednesday it had swung back into the black after three consecutive years of losses.
In the year to 31 March, the real estate investment trust reported a 24.9% increase in underlying profits, to £251m, driven by a "significant" reduction in pandemic-related provisions as occupancy rates in office and retail spaces improved.

Rent collection was 97%, which British Land said was near pre-pandemic levels.

Underlying earnings per share rose to 27.4p from 18.8p, while pre-tax profits were £960m, compared to pre-tax losses of £1.08bn a year previously.

The total accounting return was 14.8%, boosted by a 6.8% increase in the portfolio to £10.47bn. Revenues fell to £410m from £468m.

Simon Carter, chief executive, said: "We have delivered a strong performance across all parts of our business as we continue to execute against our strategy.

"Operationally, our leasing volumes across campuses and retail and fulfilment were the highest in ten years, and were ahead of estimated rental value."

Looking to the current year, the blue chip acknowledged "heightened macroeconomic and geo-political uncertainty".

But it insisted it was well positioned, with demand for its London office campuses expected to remain strong. Rental growth is forecast to be between 1% and 3% for campuses.

In retail parks, rents were forecast to be stable with some growth likely at smaller, well-located parks.

Last month British Land announced it had sold its 75% stake in the Paddington office campus to GIC, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund for £694m.

British Land owns a range of office and retail spaces, including the Broadgate Estate in London and Yorkshire shopping centre Meadowhall.


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