Wind blows in record profits at Crown Estate

Kasmira Jefford
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CROWN Estate chief executive Alison Nimmo said the company had “hit a sweet spot” last year as the regeneration of its prized West London properties and offshore wind helped deliver record full-year profits.

The Crown Estate’s net profit, which goes into the Treasury’s coffers, rose to a record £267.1m in the year to 31 March – up 5.7 per cent from £252.6m the previous year.

This means that the Queen, who receives a 15 per cent share of profits under the sovereign support grant, will be eligible for around £40m.

Nimmo said last year was the busiest year in the Crown Estate’s history in terms of developments, with 275,000 square feet of new space brought to market and another eight projects totalling 615,000 sq ft still underway.

The Crown Estate owns almost the entire freehold to Regent Street and has been carrying out a £1bn regeneration of one of London’s busiest thoroughfares since 2002.

One of its biggest redevelopments last year was 10 Burlington Street on the corner of Regent Street, which was fully let to office tenants including Twitter, Virgin Money and retailers J Crew and Watches of Switzerland.

It also signed a £320m joint venture during the year with Oxford Properties, the Canadian real estate company, to develop two blocks near the Haymarket district known as St James Market.

Overall, the value of its properties rose 15.7 per cent to £9.4bn last year.

The Crown Estate, which owns £1.2bn of retail property outside of London, confirmed yesterday that it has tabled a bid for Fosse Shopping Park in Leicester.

However, the group’s investment director Paul Clark refused to comment on whether it was a frontrunner for the centre, which is estimated to be worth around £350m.

Nimmo said profits had also been boosted by a “landmark year” for offshore wind after generating £15m of revenues from its 1,500 turbines – up 46 per cent on the previous year.