Accueil Economie - Business Shaftesbury sees London estate value fall as Covid-19 disruption hurts

Shaftesbury sees London estate value fall as Covid-19 disruption hurts

Shaftesbury, the West End landlord, on Wednesday reported a near £300 million drop in the value of its estate and swung to a loss as it showed how the Covid-19 crisis is hurting property companies.

The pandemic has led to store closures across the UK, including on Shaftesbury’s estate, impacting the ability of some retailers to pay rent.

Shaftesbury, which has a portfolio of restaurants, pubs, shops and offices, is talking to tenants about rent changes where needed, including waivers and deferrals. From October it will offer monthly, rather than quarterly, rent collections on a permanent basis.

Chinatown and Carnaby Street landlord Shaftesbury said the value of its property empire decreased 7.9%, on a like for like basis, to £3.5 billion in the six months to March.

Shaftesbury said the valuation decline is largely due to current economic uncertainty, more cautious investor sentiment and estimated near-term loss of rental income resulting from pandemic measures.

The property writedown saw the FTSE 250 firm swing to a £287.6 million pretax loss, compared to a pretax profit of £38.7 million a year earlier.

Capco agrees deal for significant stake in rival landlord Shaftesbury

Chief executive Brian Bickell said the first-half had been challenging, but pointed to the West End having long-term resilience.

He said a number of non-essential retailers, including clothing firms, that can reopen from June 15 “can’t wait to get open”.

Bickell said: « The economies of London and the West End have a long history of structural resilience, having weathered many episodes of near-term challenges and uncertainties. Their unique features come from a culture of constant evolution across a broad-based economy, attracting talent, creativity, innovation and investment from across the world and reinforcing their enduring appeal to businesses, visitors and as great places to live.”

He added: “In the post-pandemic recovery, these fundamental advantages will underpin their return to prosperity and growth.”

Today’s update comes shortly after Covent Garden landlord Capital & Counties (Capco) agreed a shock £436 million purchase of property tycoon Samuel Tak Lee’s stake in Shaftesbury.

The deal could lead to a potential takeover approach for Shaftesbury in the future, it has been speculated. The companies have neighbouring estates.

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