May 17, 2018 / 6:35 AM / 7 days ago

British Land's NAV rises on strong London office demand

(Reuters) - British Land Co (BLND.L) reported a 5.7 percent rise in full-year net asset value on Thursday, helped by strong performance in its London office business.

Britain’s second-largest listed property developer said it expected demand in London to remain firm as the supply of high-quality new office space is relatively constrained.

Property developers have been faced with uncertainty in the backdrop of Britain’s pending exit from the European Union as financial firms, which are large occupiers of London offices, have made plans to move work out of Britain.

“Initial estimates for Brexit-related job losses in the financial sector have been substantially lowered and financial services companies have continued to take space, although media and technology companies are now a more significant source of demand,” British Land said.

The company’s London office business portfolio value rose 4.5 percent, helped by higher leasing activity.

    However, British Land said the overall market remained cautious in the backdrop of a challenging retail environment with many occupiers facing short-term headwinds.

    British Land, which said earlier this month it was selling its third-party portfolio within its property management business Broadgate Estates to Savills, said its retail business remained a core part of its operations.

    EPRA net asset value, a key industry metric that reflects the value of a firm’s buildings, rose 5.7 percent to 967 pence for the year ended March 31.

    Underlying profit, however, fell 2.6 percent to 380 million pounds for the year as a result of sale of assets over the last two years.

    Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru ; Editing by Vyas Mohan and Gopakumar Warrier

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