The London office and UK retail markets continue to perform strongly, allowing British Land to enjoy a successful start to the financial year.
In its first quarterly trading statement covering the three months to the end of June 2015, the firm says occupier demand is strong, particularly in the retail sector, where lettings and renewals totalled 129,000 sq ft.
However, this was outperformed slightly by the office sector which saw 132,000 sq ft of lettings or renewals and a further 60,000 sq ft of space under offer.
One of the particular highlights of the period was seeing the letting activity at the Leadenhall Building rise significantly, with 107,000 sq ft of deals completed during the period. Furthermore, a further 52,000 sq ft is currently under offer at the ‘Cheesegrater’ bringing the let/under offer total to 90 per cent compared with 84 per cent at the end of the fourth quarter last year.
British Land chief executive Chris Grigg says; “We’ve had a good start to the year, making real progress against the priorities set out at our results in May in what are strong occupational and investment markets.
“In Retail, our operational metrics remain strong and we continue to recycle capital by selling selected mature assets and investing into our existing portfolio.
“In Offices, we’re pleased with the deals we’ve done at The Leadenhall Building and in the supply constrained City market we’re positive about our prospects on the remaining space.”
During the period, British Land also made significant progress in its developmental pipeline, achieving practical completion of 5 Broadgate in June and thereby allowing UBS to take over for the launch of the fit out process.
In addition, the firm submitted a planning application for 1 Finsbury Avenue, which will be transformed into a 300,000 sq ft office and retail asset, progressing the ambitious vision in place for the Broadgate estate. This was furthered by the granting of planning permission for 517,000 sq ft of mixed use space at 100 Liverpool Street.
Mr Grigg concludes; “We handed over 5 Broadgate to UBS in June, progressed our development pipeline and continued to invest in our campuses through public realm enhancements and refurbishments.
“We’ve taken advantage of favourable market conditions to raise £350 million of convertible bonds at a zero coupon, continuing our strong track record in accessing funding on competitive terms from a range of sources.”
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