News Column

Shaftesbury Buoyant As Interim Profit Jumps On Valuation Gains

May 19, 2014

Anthony Tshibangu

LONDON (Alliance News) - Property investment group Shaftesbury PLC Monday reported an increase in profit and revenue for the first half, boosted by valuation gains and strong demand across its portfolio.

The London-focused investor, which owns over 250 shops in Carnaby Street and Covent Garden, posted pretax profit of GBP120.5 million for the six months ended March 31, up from GBP81.8 million, boosted by property valuation gains of GBP101.0 million compared with GBP62.0 million a year earlier.

Revenue from properties rose to GBP48.5 million from GBP44.5 million a year earlier.

The company's net asset value per share rose to GBP5.96 from GBP5.23 in the corresponding period.

During the period, the company made GBP103.6 million worth of acquisitions, including Jaeger House on Broadwick Street, London, and Newport Sandringham in London'sChinatown for GBP32.3 million and GBP57.1 million, respectively.

Overall, Shaftesbury said demand for space remains healthy, with vacancy levels low and steady rental growth in all locations.

During the period, the company concluded commercial lettings, lease renewals and rent reviews with a rental value of GBP11.3 million, together with GBP2.4 million of residential lettings and lease renewals.

Shaftesbury said rental achieved for commercial uses were 2.9% above September's estimated rental value and 8.8% above their estimated rental value some 12 months ago.

Financially, Shaftesbury said net debt decreased to GBP532.1 million from GBP604.9 million.

Looking ahead, the firm said it expects tenant demand to remain high as businesses and visitors continue to flock to London.

"Improving economic sentiment and substantial public and private investment in buildings and infrastructure are bringing more business and visitors to the West End," Chief Executive Brian Bickell added in a statement. "We are confident that, with our proven long-term management strategy, our portfolio will continue to deliver sustained growth in income and capital values."

On the back of its strong performance the company increased its interim dividend 4.0% to 6.5 pence from 6.25 pence.

Shatfesbury shares were quoted down 0.3% at 666.00 pence Monday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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