Busy Landsec returns to profit, plans to decarbonise portfolio
Add together the return of shoppers and workers to UK cities and a stronger-than-expected economic recovery from the pandemic and that amounts to a speedy return to profit for Landsec, the UK’s largest commercial property giant said Tuesday.
The Bluewater mall owner posted pre-tax profits of £275 million for the six months to 30 September, recovering from the £835 million loss recorded in the same period a year earlier.
The gradual return to stores and offices also helped underpin the value of Landsec’s portfolio of commercial property, which increased in value by £81million. In the previous pandemic-hit financial year, the group’s portfolio value was cut by £1.6 billion, or 13.7%.
And it’s been a busy six months for Landsec, with the firm having disposed of £250 million of assets while making progress with £616 million worth of acquisitions to “accelerate its strategy and provide greater opportunities for growth”.
And, according to chief executive Mark Allan, that strategy involves “shaping three distinct places”: major retail destinations, mixed-use urban neighbourhoods and central London offices “to bring renewed vigour to the business”.
To that end, Landsec agreed this month to buy U+I, a regeneration-focused developer with large plots of land in Manchester and London, for £190 million. In the same week, the group said it had also taken a majority stake in MediaCity in Salford, the Greater Manchester base for the BBC and ITV, for £425.6 million.
Meanwhile, the company has also unveiled plans and £135 million in funding to reduce carbon emissions from its estate by 70% by 2030.
Allan added: “Our actions over the last six months and throughout the pandemic have enabled us to significantly increase operational activity and we remain in a strong financial position. We look forward to demonstrating further progress over the coming months.”
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