Dividends on the rise at British Land as occupancy rates grow

Adam Hignett
Office letting continues to perform well for British Land and retail footfall also grew in 2014
British Land has said it will raise its dividend by 2.5 per cent to 6.9p per share on the back of strong trading figures for the quarter ending 31 December 2014.

Total occupancy for its retail and office divisions at the end of the quarter was 97.8 per cent an increase of 0.7 percentage points on 30 September with 269,000 sq ft of retail and 168,000 sq ft of office lettings and renewals completed.

The company disposed of over £900m in assets in the year to 31 December accounting for over £30m of annual net rent.

Several key investments achieved practical completion during the period, including retail extensions at Fort Kinnaird in Edinburgh, Broughton Park near Chester and Deepdale in Preston totalling close to 175,000 sq ft.

Retail footfall continues to outperform the market with growth of 1.3 per cent during the period coupled with an increase in retailer same store sales of 4.4 per cent.

London’s expanding tech sector continues to increase its role as an important source of revenue for the company, accounting for 43 per cent of completed office lettings by the end of the period.

Chief executive Chris Grigg said: “It’s been another good period for our business: we are leasing well, making progress with development.”

The market reacted to the news with shares in the company closing down 1.14 per cent to 823.50p a share yesterday.

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