Tuesday 14 May 2019 8:27 am

Bluewater owner Land Securities sees losses almost triple amid retail closures

Land Securities, the owner of Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre, saw losses almost triple in its latest financial year as it blamed a “challenging year” full of retail closures, but still managed to bump up its dividend.

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The figures

The retail property giant saw losses before tax grow 186 per cent to £123m for the 12 months to the end of March from £43m a year ago.

However, revenue grew 8.9 per cent year on year to £442m.

Its valuation deficit also plunged to minus £557m from minus £91m in the previous financial year.

Adjusted net debt held steady at £3.7bn but its loan-to-value ratio creeped up from 25.8 per cent in March 2018 to 27.1 per cent at the end of March this year.

Earnings per share plummeted to a 16.1p loss per share compared to a loss per share of 5.8p a year ago.

But Land Securities managed to up its dividend from 44.2p per share last year to 45.55p per share.

What Land Securities said

Robert Noel, chief executive, said: “We've had a strong year operationally, maintaining high occupancy, expanding our development pipeline and delivering new products and services, including our Myo flexible offer. This is against the backdrop of political gridlock and the well-publicised difficulties in the retail market.

“Our business continues to evolve – 65 per cent of our assets by value and our entire £3bn pipeline of development opportunities are now in London and over the coming years the business will be more concentrated in the capital. Outside London, we'll continue to reduce our exposure, maintaining our focus on experience-led destinations.

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“Landsec is in a healthy financial position. We have a clear sense of where current and future opportunities lie and are well placed to address our customers' changing needs, and deliver sustained value creation for our shareholders. This is an exciting time for real estate companies with the insight and capabilities needed to create the spaces for tomorrow's businesses and communities.”