The Cheesegrater, Broadgate and Facebook's new Euston Road premises have contributed to a solid first quarter performance at British Land.
The landlord reported strong occupational demand, with lettings well ahead of estimated rental value.
In total during the three months the group agreed 129,000 sq ft of retail lettings or renewals, and 132,000 sq ft of office lettings or renewals.
The Leadenhall Building, more widely known as the Cheesegrater, the City of London's tallest building, is now around 90 per cent let or under-offer, up from 84 per cent at the full year, thanks to 107,000 sq ft of completed deals in the period and a further 52,000 sq ft under offer 12.5 per cent ahead of estimated rental value.
It has also pushed forwards with its Broadgate development, and has recently received planning permission on 517,000 sq ft at 100 Liverpool Street.
And it is refurbishing 338 Euston Road, which has been “substantially pre-let to Facebook”.
British Land said its financial position “remains strong”, having raised £350m of convertible bonds, due in 2020, at a zero coupon with flexible settlement options.
The first quarter dividend was confirmed at 7.091p, 2.5 per cent ahead of last year.
What British Land said
Chief executive Chris Grigg said:
We've had a good start to the year, making real progress against the priorities set out at our results in May in what are strong occupational and investment markets. In retail, our operational metrics remain strong and we continue to recycle capital by selling selected mature assets and investing into our existing portfolio. In offices, we're pleased with the deals we've done at The Leadenhall Building and in the supply constrained City market we're positive about our prospects on the remaining space.
We handed over 5 Broadgate to UBS in June, progressed our development pipeline and continued to invest in our campuses through public realm enhancements and refurbishments. We've taken advantage of favourable market conditions to raise £350 million of convertible bonds at a zero coupon, continuing our strong track record in accessing funding on competitive terms from a range of sources."
Investors were perhaps hoping for a stronger increase in the dividend: British Land's share price was trading down 0.3 per cent as markets opened.