Grosvenor’s bet on calling top of London luxury market pays off

 
Kasmira Jefford
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The Duke of Westminster is laughing all the way to the bank after seeing a bumper year
GROSVENOR Group, the property firm owned by the Duke of Westminster, enjoyed its highest total return last year since the start of the financial crisis after calling the top of the London luxury market and selling huge swathes of property.

The company, which has owned most of London’s upscale Mayfair and Belgravia districts since 1677, sold around £240m of residential properties in the previous financial year amid fears that the market was overheating.

“Having made significant disposals in 2013 to take advantage of high market values in the London residential sector, we’re now able to focus on investment through our £5.5bn international development pipeline,” chief executive Mark Preston said.

The group recorded a total return of 13.1 per cent in 2014 while profit before tax reached a record high of £681.8m against £506.9m in 2013. Revenue profit, which excludes the impact of revaluations, was £80.1m.

Grosvenor now owns £6bn of property across the US and Asia Pacific as well as the UK, up from £5.5bn last year.

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