Shaftesbury sees profits rise despite economic challenges
Shaftesbury has noted a "rapid rebound" in West End economy in its full year results. However, the company warned about the impact of ongoing economic challenges on its next financial year outlook.
The company reported a 28% increase in net property income to £82.8 million for the full-year ending 30 September 2022. The company's portfolio valuation was £3.2 billion, with retail accounting for 27%.
Rent collection was at 99%, with a "strong demand" for space leading to a return in pre-pandemic occupancy levels and growth in rental values. Leasing transactions with a rental value totalled £40.9 million, with commercial up 8.5% to £32.4 million. Lettings and renewals completed since 1 October 2022 made £4.4 million.
Shaftesbury's profit increased £314 million to £119.1 million, compared to -£194.9 million in 2021. Net debt was £804.6 million, against £748.5 million in 2021.
The company revealed a "resilient recovery" in trading, with occupiers reporting average monthly sales 6% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
However, Shaftesbury also acknowledged its deteriorating medium-term outlook. This is due to challenges including the after effects of the pandemic, consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, supply chain disruption, labour shortages, rising inflation, higher interest rates and tax increases.
Brian Bickell, CEO of Shaftesbury, said: “The year has seen a rapid rebound in the West End economy as COVID-related disruption receded and patterns of everyday activity returned to pre-pandemic normality. The sustained recovery in footfall and trading since the early months of 2022 has been matched by the strength of occupier demand in our carefully curated and popular locations.
"Although London and the West End cannot be immune from the unprecedented range of challenges which are now dominating the national outlook, their long-term prospects remain bright, thanks to their enduring appeal to global, domestic and local visitors, businesses and investors, their dynamic economies and ability to attract talent and creativity from across the world."