Derwent profits are boosted by lettings boom

 
Kasmira Jefford
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The White Collar Factory is inspired by 1950s workers
DERWENT London said yesterday that lettings reached a near-record high in the first half of the year, bagging a host of new tenants at schemes including the White Collar Factory in Old Street.

The property developer said it secured £20.3m of lettings on 394,600 square feet in the first half of the year, which was over twice that in the whole of 2014, when it made £9.2m.

Lettings included private equity firm AnaCap, which took two floors at One Stephen Street near Tottenham Court Road. It also made its first two lettings at its White Collar Factory scheme on Old Street roundabout, which is due to be finished next year.

Derwent has been in­crea­s­ing its footprint in the capital’s so-called Tech Belt around Ald­gate, Shore­ditch and Clerk­enwell, as it seeks to capitalise on strong demand for office space.

In July, it bought Aldgate Union on Whitechapel High Street from the Royal Bank of Scotland for £132m.

Chief executive John Burns said at around £45 per square feet, rental prices in Aldgate were still good value compared with neighbouring areas such as Shoreditch, and that the building was likely to attracted strong interest from tenants once refurbished.

Pre-tax profits rose by 21.9 per cent to £39m in the six months to 30 June compared with the same period last year, while its net rental income was up five per cent to £66.9m.

Its net asset value per share rose by 10.9 per cent to 3,226p from 2,908p in December.

It completed 210,500 square feet of developments and is on course to have one million sq ft under development within a year.