>Shares in Land Securities rose almost three per cent yesterday, after the property developer hiked its dividend by 3.7 per cent, saying a boom in demand for commercial property had boosted its net asset value.
The FTSE 100 company, which jointly owns the Walkie Talkie skyscraper in the City with Canary Wharf Group, said that it enjoyed record leasing levels across its London developments as companies scramble for office space, which is in short supply.
In March, the group pre-let the whole of 1 New Street Square, due to finish next year, to Deloitte, while its office scheme at 1 & 2 New Ludgate is 84 per cent let or in solicitors’ hands.
As a result, group revenue profit rose three per cent, to £329m, while its net asset value – a key industry measure – rose 27.6 per cent to 1,293p per share in the year ended 31 March compared with 1,013p last year.
Building activity has surged in London, with Deloitte real estate reporting a 24 per cent surge in construction in the last six months, as developers push ahead with new developments to meet demand.
“In London, we reached the peak of construction activity in our development programme during the year. Our programme has been sized and timed to deliver highly efficient and technically resilient office space into a supply-constrained market,” chief executive Rob Noel said.
The company is delivering 1.5m square feet of space in London over the next 18 months.