Retail properties help Crown Estate deliver £329.4m to Treasury coffers

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Crown Estate Regent Street

Retail properties helped the Crown Estate bring in £329.4 million for the Treasury coffers last year, amid what it described as a “challenging and uncertain market”.

The royal family’s commercial property arm, which owns large swathes of retail property across the country, said income was up four per cent compared with last year on a like-for-like basis.

It said its retail lettings in central London was one of the factors that helped drive this.

New lets in Regent Street and St James, including Microsoft, Asics and L’Occitane, was specifically attributed for delivering a boost.

Nearly 260,000sq ft of retail and office space was let throughout central London over the period, raking in total rent of £30 million.

The Crown Estate said the results came amid a string of several high street casualties and hundreds of store closures.

“It has been an exciting year and we have begun to pivot the business away from a traditional bricks-and-mortar approach towards a more customer-focused, services-based model, so we are preparing to take advantage of the trends that are transforming how people want to work, live and socialise in the future,” chairman Robin Budenberg said.

Meanwhile, the Crown Estate’s property portfolio value rose 6.8 per cent to £13.3 billion in the past year, while its capital value increased 7.3 per cent to £14.1 billion.

The results means the organisation has now returned a total of £2.7 billion to the public over the past 10 years.

Total income returned to the Treasury last year was £328.8 million.

“Our highly skilled team has delivered another great set of results this year, against a backdrop of a challenging and uncertain market,” chief executive Alison Nimmo.

“This success has been built on a disciplined focus on creating high-quality service and experiences for our customers in the best locations, and an approach to business that looks beyond short-term volatility to deliver long-term, sustainable outperformance.”

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