Buoyant property market brings good news for British Land

Property giant British Land has reported like-for-like occupancy up 0.3 percentage points to 97.1 per cent and overall occupancy including recently completed developments at 96.5 per cent, according to its interim management statement for the quarter to 31 December 2013.

British Land saw £405m of sales since the end of the half year (£122m since the half year results) including sale of Eastgate Shopping Centre Basildon for £89m, ahead of valuation. The company's development at Leadenhall is due to be completed in June.

Chris Grigg, chief executive, said:

We have had a good third quarter and the business is performing well. Overall, the UK property market had a strong quarter with London strengthening further and domestic and international investment spreading out into the regional markets.

From an occupational perspective, we saw increased interest in our office space in London, notably in the City.

The FTSE 100 company is benefiting from the economic recovery with 386,000 sq ft of retail lettings/renewals hiking UK retail occupancy by 0.4 percentage points to 98.4 per cent.

British Land confirmed a third quarter dividend of 6.75p, 2.3 per cent ahead of prior year.

British Land enjoyed a vote of confidence from Jefferies Group last week reaffirming their "buy" rating on the company's shares.