British Land posts first annual profit since 2018 as occupancy rebounds
(Reuters) -British Land Company Plc reported an annual profit on Wednesday after three consecutive years of losses, as the commercial landlord witnessed a recovery in occupancy at its office and retail spaces with easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Office property firms in the UK are gradually recovering after battling lower rental levels and steep decline in valuation due to the pandemic, as people increasingly return to cities, while more spacious retail parks have benefited during the health crisis.
The Broadgate Estate owner, which counts office space as its biggest segment, said EPRA Net Tangible Assets – a per-share measure that reflects the value of its buildings – rose more than 12% to 727 pence, while overall portfolio valuation climbed nearly 15% to 10.47 billion pounds ($13.03 billion).
The FTSE 100 company’s results were in line with its bigger rival Landsec, which reported its first annual profit in five years on Tuesday, driven by record leasing in its London offices and a return to growth in major retail destinations.
British Land’s profit after tax came in at 960 million pounds for the 12 months ended March 31, compared with a loss of 1.08 billion pounds a year earlier.
($1 = 0.8034 pounds)
(Reporting by Muhammed Husain and Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)