Land Securities promotes Noel to chief executive

City A.M. Reporter
Land Securities, Britain's largest real estate investment trust by market capitalisation, said its London managing director Robert Noel was to take over as chief executive on a salary of 680,000 pounds.

Alongside a third-quarter trading statement marking steady progress in difficult economic conditions, the company said current chief executive Francis Salway, 54, would depart on 31 March.

"The business enters 2012 well positioned with high quality assets, a strong balance sheet and an excellent team," Noel said.

Land Securities signed £7.1m of lettings in the last quarter of 2011 and voids in the portfolio were 3.1 per cent versus 3.3 per cent the previous quarter. It also signed a new £1.05BN credit facility.

Lettings were taking longer to complete due to the global economic uncertainty, Salway said.

Together with Canary Wharf Group, majority owned by Songbird Estates, Land Securities is developing the 38-storey Walkie Talkie skyscraper in London's City financial district but has no major letting to lower the scheme's financial risk.

Last week, the London property market received a major blow as two major schemes stalled due to a lack of a pre-let agreement and the Investment Property Databank benchmark index showed that real estate values weakened in 2011, with a "less than ideal" outlook for this year.