UK’s property sector is seeing a robust rebound, with British Land joining the ranks of companies reporting thriving post-pandemic trading. In its fiscal year that ended on March 31, British Land announced a “strong performance across all parts of our business,” following Landsec’s declaration of a “record year.” This is a welcome change for British Land after three years of consecutive losses.

Underlying profits for the company reached £251 million, a significant 25% increase compared to the previous year’s loss of £1.08 billion. British Land leased nearly 4 million sq ft of space in its workplaces, retail, and fulfillment centers during this period, marking the highest volume in a decade and surpassing estimated retail value. Of this, Retail & Fulfillment leasing accounted for 2.2 million sq ft, also the highest in 10 years and exceeding estimated retail value by 2.8%.

London continues to demonstrate a preference for the best and most sustainable spaces, benefiting British Land’s Campuses. The company’s total accounting return for the year stood at 14.8%, driven by a 6.8% increase in the valuation of its portfolio. Campuses experienced a 5.4% growth in value, while Retail & Fulfillment saw a 9.9% increase, and Retail Parks recorded an impressive 20.7% growth.

The success of Retail Parks does not come as a surprise, as they provide an attractive and cost-effective format for retail customers. With a low vacancy rate of 2.6%, British Land highlighted the wisdom of its decision to allocate capital to this segment, which has seen valuations rise by 20.7%.

In addition, warehousing and logistics spaces, particularly in London, have become highly sought-after in the property sector. British Land recognizes the strong fundamentals of urban logistics in the city, given the limited availability of space. In just 12 months, the company has assembled a development pipeline worth approximately £1.3 billion for its urban logistics business.

Despite the positive results, British Land remains cautious due to economic and geopolitical uncertainties. However, CEO Simon Carter reassures that the company’s strategic advantage in sectors with pricing power provides confidence for the future. British Land is well-positioned for growth and success in the post-pandemic era, thanks to its strong market position and strategic investments in high-demand segments.

Overall, the return to profit for British Land showcases the resilience and recovery of the UK’s property sector. With strong performances across all areas of its business and strategic investments in high-demand segments, the company is poised for future growth and success in the post-pandemic era.

Useful links:
British Land Investors Page
British Land Sustainability Initiatives