New projects steal the show at Portland

Marion Dakers
LONDON real estate investor Great Portland Estates (GPE) yesterday reported a 78 per cent rise in profits to £50.4m, as it unveiled planning approval for its Hannover Square project and the sale of some of its stake in 100 Bishopsgate.

The firm’s West End-focused property portfolio gained 15.5 per cent in value to £1.65bn over the year to the end of March, while rental growth rose 10.8 per cent, beating consensus analyst forecasts by seven per cent.

Westminster City Council has given the green light to GPE’s £500m luxury flats and office space in Hanover Square, which is due for completion in 2016 to tie in with nearby Crossrail construction.

But GPE said it hoped to sell off some of its stake in the 100 Bishopsgate tower, a 40-storey block expected to deliver almost 1m square feet of City office space.

GPE said during an analyst presentation that more than one investor is interested in buying some of its 50 per cent stake in the site, to take its stake down to a quarter and reducing its costs to £152.9m.

The names of the potential buyers were not disclosed. Existing partner Brookfields declined to comment on whether it would increase its stake.