London & Stamford sees property asset values soar

LONDON & Stamford Properties posted a 17.4 per cent annual rise in the value of its assets, but said it was more cautious of property investments in the UK due to the difficult environment for tenants.

London & Stamdford, formed in late 2007 to take advantage of steep discounts due to the UK commercial property downturn, said its net asset value per share increased to 120.1p at end March 2010, compared with 102.3p a year ago.

"We have however become increasingly cautious over further investment as prime yields tightened to potentially unsustainable levels in what we considered a most demanding tenant environment," said chairman Raymond Mould.

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"I still consider such caution to be well placed and it will continue to underpin our strategy in the future."

The group owns half of Sheffield's Meadowhall shopping centre after buying it from British Land and entering into a joint venture. It said its share of the profits from the joint venture was 29.8m.

London & Stamford said earlier this month it has agreed to buy 16 distribution properties from a Warner Estate and Lloyds Banking Group/HBOS Radial joint venture for 208.5m.

Following the Radial portfolio acquisition, its uncommitted cash balance is 200m, the company said, adding it will not recommend further dividends for the year to March 2010 after announcing total dividends of 4.4p for the period.

The AIM-listed property investor said it plans to complete its move to the main market of the London Stock Exchange and convert to a real estate investment trust in September 2010.