London’s West End “optimistic” about recovery despite £338m loss

West End Shaftesbury Brian Bickell
Shaftesbury expects a gradual return of local workers after June 21
// London’s West End landlord posts six-month loss of £338.5m
// Despite losses, Shaftesbury said it remains “optimistic” about its road to recovery
// The property trust owns 16-acres of prime real estate in the West End

Shaftesbury, the company which owns sites in in London’s West End, has reported a six-month loss of £338.5 million, but is “more optimistic” about a swift recovery.

The company reported a pre-tax loss of £338.5 million for the six months to the end of March – up from one of £287.6 million in the same period a year earlier – reflecting lower property valuations and a drop in rental income.

The losses came after a cut in the value of Shaftesbury’s assets by £342.6 million, but there was also a 42.6 per cent drop in net rental income to £26.5 million, reflecting more properties remaining vacant.


READ MORE: London’s West End sustains footfall growth amid positive summer forecast


The property trust owns 16-acres of prime real estate in the heart of London’s West End, which is home to 612 stores, restaurants, cafés and pubs.

The West End landlord collected only 43 per cent of rent due from its retail, restaurant, bar and office tenants.

It raised £307 million from shareholders in November to get through the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, vacancy rates improved to 11.3 per cent in the past six weeks from 11.9 per cent on March 31.

The company said almost all hospitality, leisure and retail tenants had reopened, and visitor numbers are back at 45 per cent of pre-pandemic levels across the West End.

Shaftesbury expects a gradual return of local workers after June 21.

“After more than a year of unprecedented disruption, a revival in the West End’s broad-based economy is now under way,” Shaftesbury chief executive Brian Bickell said.

“Since the start of reopening on April 12, we are seeing an encouraging increase in demand for space and lettings and a return of footfall and spending across our locations.

“Forecasts point to a sharp rebound in the UK economy but there remains the risk that the recovery could encounter delays and setbacks in the period ahead.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette’s free daily email newsletter

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here