Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

London is still a global draw despite Brexit, says British Land

London is still a global draw despite Brexit, says British Land

London is still a big draw for global banks and institutions despite the uncertainty created by Brexit, according to one of the UK's biggest property companies.

Property developer British Land (LSE: BLND.L - news) said it had reduced the amount of space it was building without secured tenants to below 4 percent, adding that its London office tenants were taking longer to make decisions to take up space.

"Looking forward, the picture is a mixed one".

But chief executive Rob Noel warned that the "inflexion point" between tenants and landlords had been reached, as supply begins to outstrip demand for the first time in a number of years.

Grigg said there was still a lot to attract occupiers to London, despite fears that Brexit will trigger an exodus among global institutions to rival cities within the European Union, to guarantee continued access to the single market.

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The sale of London's Cheesegrater building has helped boost British Land's underlying profits by 7.4 per cent as the client backed the capital to ride out any ecnomic "headwinds" brought on by Brexit.

British Land's board proposed a final quarterly dividend of 7.3 pence a share, bringing the total payout for the year to 29.2 pence a share, up 3% from a year before.

The value of its portfolio fell by 1.4 per cent over the year, to £13.9bn, but it was up by 1.6 per cent in the second half alone.

"Though the United Kingdom economy has performed well since the vote, we can expect more inflation and increasing pressure on disposable incomes".

Broker Numis however saw not only a strong set of results and said the magnitude of the NAV beat was greater than it expected "and we believe will be taken as a sign of confidence by the market, in particular when combined with the solid operational performance", notably strong retail lettings and LFL income growth up 2.9%.

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