In March last year, the two West-end landlords merged, meaning that Shaftesbury who owns land around Soho and Capco who owns land around Covent Garden now operate under one ownership.
In an update ahead of its AGM on Thursday, the property owner reported strong trading across its retail and hospitality portfolio, as customers returned to the West-end, with sales in aggregate 13 per cent above 2019 on a like-for-like basis.
Footfall also showed signs of improvement, with Shaftesbury crediting a return to international tourism and post-pandemic and the King’s Coronation for the lift – the group said it predicts the boost to “continue through the summer” as warm weather draws shoppers back to the high street
A flurry of new restaurant openings in China Town and Kingly Court in Carnaby Street also helped attract new customers.
As workers return to the office, the group said that demand for offices “remains healthy,” and its office scheme at 36 Carnaby Street completed is now fully pre-let or under offer, representing £0.9m of income.
“We are pleased with the first 100 days of activity across Shaftesbury Capital with the integration of our business and talented team progressing well. We are encouraged by operational progress, prospects for our prime West End portfolio and the benefits we are seeing from the combined platform,” Ian Hawksworth, chief executive, said.
He added: “Against a backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty, demand for space in our West End locations continues to be strong across all uses, with 173 leasing transactions completing in the first five months of the year, at rents on average 6 per cent ahead of December 2022 ERV providing confidence for rental growth prospects.”