High St woe rocks landlord
LAND Securities posted a £147m first-half loss as the crisis on the High Street battered the value of its properties.
The landlord, which owns the Trinity Leeds and Westgate Oxford shopping centres, was hit by a £368m writedown on its portfolio in the six months to September 30.
Retail landlords have seen the value of their portfolios drop dramatically as shops, struggling with crippling business rates, sky-high rents and brutal competition from internet rivals, have sought rescue deals that almost always seek to cut their rent obligations.
Land Securities said the total value of its portfolio fell 2.8pc to £13.4bn in the first half. Revenue fell to £369m over the period, down from £379m a year earlier.
The losses sent it plunging from a £42m first-half profit in 2018 to a £147m loss this year.
It blamed a series of retail collapses for the blow, as well as rescue deals which have forced it to accept lower rents from tenants. But despite warning of political uncertainty, it vowed to plough on with £3bn development plans, which will focus on building more offices in London. It has four sites in construction across the capital.
Chief executive Rob Noel said: ‘Real estate fundamentals in London are sound. The office market remains in good health and our activities in the capital will increase in the coming years.
‘With a General Election next month and the UK’s proposed exit from the European Union further delayed, there will be continued uncertainty.’
Shares rose 0.4pc, or 3.4p, to 895.4p.