Lie of the Land looks positive

UK developer British Land posted a rise in first-half profits and said it is well positioned when the economy improves.

The blue-chip developer said 20 new lettings at Meadowhall shopping centre had helped to improve its performance.

British Land, which owns Meadowhall with property company London & Stamford, said it has enhanced the shopping centre’s premium retail and food offer with 31,000 sq ft of long-term deals including new lettings to Van Mildert, Holland & Barrett and Beaverbrooks.

Urban Outfitters will be opening in the New Year.

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The £7m refurbishment of the Oasis food court has now been completed with new lettings to Giraffe, Rice and Chaophraya.

The centre is currently preparing for late-night opening over the festive period, and has recently invested in snow blowers in preparation for the predicted bad weather.

Leading retailers at Meadowhall, which has one of the lowest void rates in the country, include House of Fraser, Debenhams, Vans, Collard Manson, Crumpler, FR by Fashion Rocks, Guess, Mimco, LK Bennett, Krispy Kreme, Van Mildert, Boux Avenue, Thomas Sabo and Moss.

British Land reported a 4.2 per cent rise in first-half net asset value, while its underlying pre-tax profits rose 3.9 per cent to £132m.

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Office valuations rose by 5.3 per cent and retail valuations rose by 0.7 per cent.

Chief executive Chris Grigg said: “In the current challenging economic environment, our results demonstrate the quality of our portfolio.

“We are well positioned for today but also have the capacity to capture upside when the economy improves.”