Shares in British Land, one of the UK’s biggest real-estate companies, made gains today, despite a fall in full-year profits.
In the 12 months to March 31, British Land’s underlying profit – which strips out distorting factors such as exchange-rate movements and acquisition costs – declined from £390 million to £380 million.
Uncertainties lie ahead
There was good news for investors, with the total dividend pay-out rising by three per cent, from 29.2p a share to 30.08p.
British Land’s shares were up 14.4p, or 2.11 per cent, at 696p.
Chris Grigg, chief executive, said: “This has been another good year for British Land. Our financial performance has been robust following significant asset sales, and we have made further strategic and operational progress.”
But he added: “Looking forward, we are mindful of the uncertainties. In retail, market conditions are likely to remain challenging. In offices, demand for our space is healthy, with a range of businesses continuing to commit to London and the supply of high-quality new space relatively constrained in the short term.”
The fall in underlying profit, he said, should be seen in the light of the sale of £1.5 billion of income-producing assets during the last two years, of which £800 million was completed during the year to March.
Mr Grigg said: “We have maintained our capital discipline, completing a £300 million share buyback and increasing our dividend again…while reducing LTV [ratio of borrowings to the value of assets] to 28 per cent, further strengthening our financial position.”