Land Securities ramps up City development plans

Marion Dakers
LAND Securities, the country’s largest listed property firm, posted a 6.7 per cent rise in the value of its net assets yesterday and pledged to accelerate its development work in the City.

Land Securities’ portfolio gained 3.4 per cent in value to £9.7bn in the six months to the end of September, and the firm committed to start developments worth more than £1bn.

Rental values in the firm’s extensive London portfolio rose 1.1 per cent, in the first positive move since 2008. This rise contributed to an underlying pre-tax profit of £135.9m for the period, a rise of 5.8 per cent on last year.

Chief executive Frances Salway told City A.M. that as well as filing planning permission to redevelop 60 Ludgate Hill and 110 Cannon Street, the company is in the final stages of securing an unnamed second office tenant at One New Change, where 10,000 shoppers a week are now visiting.

Salway said that an influx of foreign investors in the City market had hampered Land
Securities’ efforts to buy new sites, but that buoyant market conditions had also worked
to its advantage.

The company made sales worth £213m in the last six months, representing an overall 8.8 per cent gain on March 2010 valuations.