Shaftesbury, the West End-focused landlord, posted strong results for the 12 months to October on the back of what its chairman described as a “truly memorable year for London”.
The group, which owns 500 properties – predominantly shops – spanning 13 acres of Carnaby Street, Covent Garden and Soho, bolstered its position as the largest landlord in the central London retail district during the period, buying £44m worth of new stores.
The West End has been one of the UK’s most buoyant property markets during the downturn, supported by a steady flow of overseas shoppers. The strength of activity in the area has driven up rents to record levels during the past two years.
John Manser, Shaftesbury’s outgoing chairman, said the hosting of the Olympics and diamond jubilee celebrations meant London was “firmly in the world’s spotlight”.
“The successful staging of these major events has greatly enhanced London’s reputation and should attract more visitors and businesses, particularly to the West End, in the years ahead,” he added.
Shaftesbury recorded pre-tax profit of £31.2m for the period, up from £29.2m a year earlier. The net value of the group’s portfolio rose 8.9 per cent to £1.82bn. The company proposed a final dividend of 6.05p, up 5 per cent on 2011.
The group also invested £15m on improving and redesigning buildings in its portfolio.
Shares in Shaftesbury rose 1p to 548p.