Derwent posts higher profit on bargain hunters

OFFICE landlord Derwent London reported sustained growth in the value of its portfolio to £2.2bn yesterday, easing fears of a new real estate slump as Britain’s economic prospects wilt.

Chief executive John Burns said Derwent’s signature strategy of providing affordable offices in the capital’s nascent business hubs would hold up as firms budgeted for slower expansion and higher rates of inflation.

“We have a sort of formulaic business model, operating off the middle market for rents between £30-50 a square foot and I’m just very positive that the momentum has continued. Even over this summer period, we were making lettings,” Burns said.

“We have been able to deal with all the crises without having a rights issue and we’ve still bought property, we’ve got a lot of uncharged property that’s not mortgaged and a lot of unused facilities,” he added.

Derwent marked a long-awaited return to investment with the £146m purchase of the West End’s Central Cross building in July.
The firm posted a 17 per cent rise in first-half net asset value to 1,365p a share, against 18 per cent six months earlier.