West End owner Shaftesbury Group reported higher take-up and rising asset values this morning, defying the retail gloom that has been forecasted for many of Britain’s high street landlords.
The Chinatown and Carnaby Street property group posted lower vacancies across its £3bn portfolio, with net income rising by 6.2 per cent to £93.8m in the full-year to September.
Net asset values rose four per cent to 991p in the year to the end of September, falling below consensus estimates that predicted a figure north of £10 a share but bucking a wider downward trend in the value of landlord portfolios across the UK.
The FTSE 250 landlord, which has built up a business model that focuses on independent and flagship occupants rather than more mainstream global brands over the last several decades, also hiked its dividend by 4.9 per cent to 8.5p.
Shaftesbury boss Brian Bickell said that the results proved it had been “progress on all fronts” for the property group.
Bickell told City A.M.: “The international demand is still there. London has always had reputation for being the best city on the retailing planet.”
He added: “The business is going well and we work in a resilient location, and we do extra well in terms of footfall and tenants because of how we curate our portfolio. There is no sense that long term owners are about to jump ship and get out.”
“It’s business as usual” added finance director Chris Ward.
Russ Mould, AJ Bell investment director, commented: “Even as investors continue to fret over the possible implications of Brexit and what it may or may not mean for the UK’s economy, Chinatown-owner Shaftesbury continues to defy the doubters with a four per cent increase in its net asset value per share and a five per cent increase in its full-year dividend.”