Shaftesbury gets boost from booming West End

 
Kasmira Jefford
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THE WEST END property company Shaftesbury has hailed it most “prosperous” era despite the economic gloom, as it posted a 12 per cent rise in full year net asset value.

Shaftesbury owns a prized portfolio of 500 properties in London’s popular tourist spots including Carnaby Street, China Town and Covent Garden.

Brian Bickell, Shaftesbury’s former finance director and new chief executive, said: “I can’t remember it being so prosperous. We have got good occupancy, virtually nothing to let and rents are going up.”

The group, which makes 70 per cent of its income from restaurants and shops, said rents are up by 7.5 per cent year-on-year on the back of strong tenant demand and virtually full occupancy.

This helped increase profits by 31 per cent to £29.2m compared with £22.3m in the previous year to 31 September.

Shaftesbury, which completed a £100m equity fundraising in March, made £64.9m acquisitions during the year, helping to boost rental income by 15 per cent to £75.4m.

The group’s strong results pushed shares up 4.1 per cent to 501.5p.