British Land posts rise in underlying profit

British Land posts rise in underlying profit

British Land has seen modest growth in the year to 31st March 2024, with underlying profits increasing 2% to £268m.

IFRS post-tax profits stood at £1m for the same period, compared to a loss of £1bn in the year to March 2023.

However, the value of British Land’s portfolio was at just under £8.7bn in March 2024, falling 2.6% in value from the year before.

This was attributed to market interest rates rising in the first half of the year, causing property yields to move out.

The portfolio has become increasingly focused on campuses, retail parks, and London urban logistic centres.

The REIT currently has a portfolio occupancy, across all of these sectors, of 97%.

Asset disposals have generated £410m over the year.

British Land is set to complete the sale of a 50% stake in Meadowhall Shopping Centre to Norges for £360m in July this year.

Disposals, combined with strong occupancy, has helped support the company’s finances.

Underlying earnings per share was 28.5p, up 1% from the year before.

The board has proposed a slightly higher dividend per share of 22.8p, similarly up 1% from the year before.

This has led management of the trust to be more confident in their outlook.

“Our strategy of focusing on campuses, retail parks and London urban logistics is delivering,” said Simon Carter, CEO at British Land.

“Our operational momentum continues with high occupancy, strong leasing, and good cost discipline driving underlying profit growth of 2%.

“Although the geopolitical and economic landscape remains uncertain, with a portfolio net equivalent yield over 6%, 3-5% forecast rental growth, and development upside, we expect to generate attractive future returns.”

In March, it was confirmed that William Rucker would become British Land’s new chair, succeeding Tim Score after five years in the role and 10 on the board.

Tim will step down after the trust’s AGM in July 2024.

Since January 2023, William has been chair at Intermediate Capital Group, and was most recently chair at investment bank Lazard in the UK.

He has also held this role at Crest Nicholson and Quintain Estates and Development.

Leave a comment