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Land Securities returns to profit

Published:  12 November, 2010

Land Securities unveiled a strong set of financial results for the six months to 30 September with pre-tax profits of £455.3m against a loss of £4.6m six months previously.

Reflecting improved occupier sentiment, like-for-like voids across the shopping centre and retail warehouse portfolios fell to 4.9 per cent against 5.5 per cent in March 2010.

During the six months Land Securities pre-sold its Park House project on Londonís Oxford Street, and completed £174.0m of acquisitions, mainly the O2 Centre in north London and a 50 per cent stake in the Westgate Centre, Oxford. And it is reported to have made the winning bid for Lend Leaseís Overgate in Dundee.

Chief Executive Francis Salway said: ďIn retail, we have commenced developments selectively when supported by retailers through pre-lettings. And we see further opportunities in this area, particularly in edge-of-town locations targeted by supermarkets and other retailers.

ďAll our activity is underpinned by a focus on income and we managed void levels down further in our retail portfolio. Market conditions in our sectors are slightly more favourable than we expected at this point, with low gilt yields supporting buying interest from investors and the growth plans of large companies generating take-up of space. We are nevertheless alive to the potential impact of tax increases and public sector job cuts, and we maintain our medium term view of a recovery in property values, albeit interspersed with ripples.Ē