// Landsec plunges to £1.4bn full year loss, thanks to lockdowns
// The value of its combined portfolio across offices, retail & leisure tumbles 13.7% to £10.8bn
Landsec has revealed it plunged to a £1.4 billion annual loss as lockdowns left many of its properties lying empty and hammered rent collections.
One of the UK’s biggest commercial landlords saw losses for the 12 months to March 31 widen sharply from £837 million the previous year after like-for-like rental income across its London-focused properties plunged 30.4 per cent.
Restrictions and stay at home measures meant the “vast majority” of its portfolio was either closed or largely left unoccupied for more than half of the year, according to Landsec.
- Landsec collects just 2/3 of rent bills
- Landsec receives only 65% of December rent owed
- Landsec swings to £835m half-year loss
Landsec also saw the value of its combined portfolio across offices, retail and leisure tumble 13.7 per cent to £10.8 billion.
It insisted it was now in the “recovery phase” as lockdown restrictions have lifted for non-essential retailers and hospitality, with some workers also beginning to return to offices.
The property firm hiked its full-year revenues to 27p a share, up from 23.2p in 2020, in a sign of confidence in the outlook.
However, it admitted that hybrid working – a combination of remote and office working – was “here to stay” and said the impact on commercial property demand remains “far from clear and will not be uniform”.
Landsec said demand was likely to remain strong for prime locations, but that this trend was set to hit rents in secondary sites – of which it has “very little” exposure.
Chief executive Mark Allan, who took the helm in the early days of the Covid-19 crisis in April last year – said: “We are now entering the recovery phase.
“Government action to support the economy was swift and the speed of the ongoing vaccination programme impressive.
“As a result, there is the real prospect of a strong consumption-led recovery across the remainder of 2021 and 2022.”
Last month’s reopening of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality has driven a strong recovery for its retail sites and Landsec added it expects to see “even more” from this week’s further easing of measures.
with PA Wires