Slowdown in top end of London property market hits Grosvenor Group profits

Alys Key
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Grosvenor Square is part of the company's high-end London portfolio

Property giant Grosvenor Group reported a 5 per cent drop in revenue profit for 2016 as the London market slowed down.

Revenue profit was £79.2m, down from £83.3m in 2015, and total return slowed from 9 per cent to 8 per cent.

The company, which owns several locations in high-end parts of London like Belgravia and Mayfair, suffered from a slump in the top end of the London property market.

CEO Mark Preston said the company had anticipated the shift, which he attributed to shaken consumer confidence after the EU referendum and higher stamp duty. He said international investments in North America and Asia had largely offset cooler market conditions in London.

The group expects more difficulties in the near future, but is optimistic in the long term. Preston said: "We expect our returns in 2017 to be significantly weaker due to limited room for market value appreciation and a reduction in revenue profit following some well-timed disposals. The proceeds of these sales will be re-invested into our £6bn pipeline of projects to be delivered in several years’ time, resulting in a recovery in returns."

The Grosvenor Group and the rest of the Grosvenor Estate are owned by Hugh Grosvenor, the world's richest person under 30. He inherited a fortune worth an estimated £9bn along with the title Duke of Westminster after his father died last year.

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