Shaftesbury, the owner of several buildings in London’s West End, has reported a strong rebound despite the impact of Omicron.
In the four months ended 3 February, the firm announced that strong strong trading prior to restrictions and ongoing government support measures helped Shaftesbury weather Omicron-induced disruptions. The firm’s net debt went down 1.1 per cent, from £748.5m to £740.5m.
“Robust occupier interest across all our uses and in each of our locations has continued throughout the period, our vacancy levels are trending lower towards pre-pandemic levels and rent collection rates continue to improve,” said chief executive Brian Bickell.
Shaftesbury reported 60 commercial lettings with rental value of £7.9m, while rent levels went up 14 per cent to a total value of £1.4m.
In the period described, the firm also made significant investments, including the refurbishment of 165,000ft of space and five acquisitions in Covent Garden, Chinatown and Fitzrovia for a total of £18.5m.
“The unrivalled attractions and lasting appeal of the West End to both local and domestic audiences, together with our curated, differentiated and affordable locations, will underpin both our continuing post-lockdown revival and our long-term resilience and prospects in the months and years ahead,” Bickell added.