Upbeat Great Portland sees strong gains

City A.M. Reporter
Great Portland Estates booked a 7.3 per cent half-year gain in its London property portfolio to £1.46bn, buoyed by higher income as tenants seek its more affordable office space.

The landlord, known for offering office and retail space at competitive rents in the popular West End business district, yesterday said its adjusted net asset value rose 11 per cent to 314p a share in the six months to the end of September.

The valuation gain helped Great Portland outperform the Investment Property Databank Central London index, with a total property return of 10.1 per cent against an 8.3 per cent benchmark, but chief executive Toby Courtauld warned economic gloom had stripped momentum from the London real estate market comeback.
“Whilst there continues to be a surfeit of buyers over sellers... we believe these more sedate conditions will persist into 2011 as the uncertain macro environment will continue to affect sentiment in the short term,” Courtauld said.

Despite the cautious near-term outlook for London property prices, Courtauld said the company was encouraged by demand for its real estate assets after achieving new leases, reviews and renewals equating to £8.3m of new income.

Total group revenue, including a share of joint venture rental income, was £37.1m, up 10.4 per cent on the same period last year.