Land Secs bags third tenant for Walkie Talkie

Kasmira Jefford
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LAND Securities said yesterday it had clinched its third tenant at the Walkie Talkie skyscraper scheme in the City, as insurers help bolster the muted office lettings market.

The property giant said its joint venture with Canary Wharf Group is now 23 per cent pre-let with a further 11 per cent in solicitors’ hands after signing a pre-let deal with insurer Ascot Underwriting as well as Markel and Kiln earlier this year.

In results for the six months to 30 September, the group said earnings fell 10.2 per cent year-on-year after selling secondary sites and shopping malls to fund its ambitious £1bn development plans.

Chief executive Rob Noel shrugged off concerns over its exposures to the project, stressing it still only represented 15 per cent of its portfolio.

“We are building much bigger buildings than we sold and the income will come storming back again,” he said.

Net asset value was flat in the period at 864p a share, which was below consensus forecasts of 868p, after a UK 3.4 per cent drop in retail property value offset an 8.6 per cent growth in the value of its developments.