Songbird profit fuelled by Lehman sale

SONGBIRD, the company which own large chunks of Canary Wharf, has reported a sharp rise in annual profits.

The lift was fuelled in part by the sale of the old Lehman Brothers building to JP Morgan.

Songbird Estates posted pre-tax profits for 2010 of £463.8m – a rise of 39 per cent on the £334.6m for the previous year.

The property company, which owns half the properties in Canary Wharf, said new tenants helped to boost retail rents.

The market value of its portfolio at 31 December stood at £4.6bn, almost ten per cent up.

Songbird chairman David Pritchard said: "The group had a very positive 2010 and will be looking to continue development at Canary Wharf in 2011."

Songbird had to write off more than £50m in 2010 after Lehman Brothers' administrators stopped paying rent on its Bank Street offices.

Songbird controls more than half the buildings in Canary Wharf.

It is the majority stakeholder in Canary Wharf Group, which rents out 17 of the 35 retail and office buildings in the London financial district.

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