The London West End’s economy is experiencing a rapid rebound, leading to a successful year for property giant Shaftesbury. The company, which owns a 16.4-acre portfolio in the heart of the West End, has seen a significant increase in footfall and consumer spending, as well as sustained occupier demand across all its uses. This growth is supported by a return to pre-pandemic occupancy levels.

In a positive development, Shaftesbury announced that it has swung to a pre-tax profit for fiscal 2022, thanks to gains from the revaluation of its investment properties. Its net property income has also risen by 28%. The company reported a pre-tax profit of £119.1 million, compared to a loss of £194.9 million in the previous year. This increase can primarily be attributed to a £99.5 million revaluation gain and improved net property income. However, there were some one-off costs related to its merger with Capital & Counties Properties.

Shaftesbury also highlighted that its rent collection has now reached 99%, a level comparable to pre-pandemic levels. Tenants are reporting average monthly sales that are 6% higher than pre-pandemic levels, indicating growth in both the retail and hospitality sectors. Furthermore, there have been an additional 59 new hospitality and retail lettings during the year.

Looking ahead, Shaftesbury remains bullish about the future. CEO Brian Bickell expressed confidence in the long-term prospects of London and the West End, despite the challenges faced by the nation. He emphasized the area’s enduring appeal to global, domestic, and local visitors, businesses, and investors. He also highlighted the dynamic economies of the West End and its ability to attract talent and creativity from around the world.

Overall, Shaftesbury’s strong financial performance and positive outlook demonstrate the resilience and potential of the London West End’s economy. The company’s strategic actions to support occupiers and protect its portfolio have paid off, positioning it well for continued success in the future.

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