Land Se­cu­ri­ties’ chief warns Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions are not mov­ing fast enough

Yorkshire Post - - BUSINESS -

PROP­ERTY DE­VEL­OPER Land Se­cu­ri­ties said ne­go­ti­a­tions for Bri­tain to leave the Euro­pean Union were mov­ing more slowly than busi­nesses would have hoped.

Re­port­ing a 5.2 per cent rise in its half-year rev­enue profit, the com­pany, which owns the Trin­ity Leeds de­vel­op­ment, said po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty caused by the slow pace of ne­go­ti­a­tions is lead­ing to cau­tion.

Robert Noel, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Land­sec, said the de­vel­oper had re­ported a “strong op­er­a­tional per­for­mance” in the first half of the year.

He added: “The head­winds of Brexit are be­gin­ning to show in the econ­omy. How­ever, our bal­ance sheet is healthy and we have the tal­ent, fire­power and ex­pe­ri­ence to thrive.”

The de­crease in value of Land­sec’s com­bined port­fo­lio over the six-month pe­riod, ad­justed for net in­vest­ment nar­rowed to £19m from £260m a year ago. Ad­justed di­luted net as­set value per share rose 1.1 per cent to 1,432p.

Land­sec re­ported a 5.2 per cent rise in rev­enue profit to £203m for the six months end­ing Septem­ber 30. Pre-tax loss stood at £33m for the pe­riod, com­pared with a loss of £95m for six months end­ing Septem­ber 30, 2016.

The com­pany said it had booked a 170 per cent profit on cost from the sale of its share of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ sky­scraper in London to Hong Kong’s LKK Health Prod­ucts Group in July.

Land­sec and Ca­nary Wharf Group sold the tower for £1.3bn, the high­est price on record for a Bri­tish of­fice build­ing.

Land­sec is also the owner and man­ager of White Rose Shop­ping Cen­tre in Leeds.

The shop­ping cen­tre opened a 65,000 sq ft leisure ex­ten­sion, con­sist­ing of an IMAX cinema and six res­tau­rant units, all let be­fore com­ple­tion.

David Brock­ton, an an­a­lyst at Liberum, said the com­pany’s strat­egy of strength­en­ing its port­fo­lio and bal­ance sheet “po­si­tions the busi­ness ex­tremely well for the next few years as con­di­tions soften”.

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