Developers in West End enjoy strong demand

Kasmira Jefford
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SHAFTESBURY and Great Portland Estate posted stellar results yesterday thanks to the strength of the West End property market, where both are dominant players.

Brian Bickell, Shaftesbury’s chief executive said London was still “on a roll” from last year’s Olympic Games and the capital’s “unrivalled variety of attractions” were helping to draw visitors to its estates.

The landlord, which owns over 500 properties in the West End, said its net asset value rose by five per cent to £5.23 per share in the six months to 31 March.

However, Bickell warned “unusually high” levels of development and refurbishment activity was tempering growth in the short term.

The group finished refurbishing Lasenby House on Kingly Street in May and said two new shops were under offer to overseas retailers.

It undertook £5.5m of lettings and lease renewals, an average of 3.1 per cent above the market rental value.

Great Portland Estates said its net asset value increased to £1.5bn in the year to 31 March compared with £1.2bn in the same period last year.

Toby Courtauld, chief executive said despite Eueconomic concerns in Europe, central London markets continued to perform well.

“The pick-up in tenant demand we identified in November is translating into lettings whilst the supply of new space to let is set to remain muted for some time, noticeably so in the core of the West End,” he said.