Shaftesbury Capital, a prominent property company that recently merged with Capco, hosted its inaugural investor event at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden on Monday. During the event, the management team provided an optimistic update on the company’s trading performance, emphasizing the strength of its West End property portfolio.

Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Shaftesbury Capital, expressed confidence in the company’s performance and stated that the positive momentum experienced during the Christmas trading period has carried over into the second half of the year. He also projected an annual rental growth rate of 5-7% over the medium-term.

Shaftesbury Capital attributes its success to its portfolio of West End properties, which it considers to be a vibrant global destination with a wide range of entertainment and cultural attractions. The company recently formed partnerships with renowned brands such as Marc Jacobs and Sézane in Covent Garden, and it has successfully attracted luxury brands including Hublot, Messika, and Girard-Perregaux to its Royal Opera House Arcade. Additionally, the company has witnessed high footfall across its prime portfolio, with sales surpassing 2022 levels by 12% and exceeding 2019 levels by 16%.

Leasing activity has remained robust, with a total of 220 transactions amounting to £15.6 million in rent recorded in the second half of the year, surpassing the level of activity observed in the first half. Furthermore, the company boasts low vacancy rates, with only 2.2% of its properties available to let.

Hawksworth emphasized the resilience and appeal of Shaftesbury Capital’s prime West End portfolio, stating that it has performed exceptionally well despite the uncertain macroeconomic environment. The company’s strong balance sheet and access to approximately £500 million of liquidity position it favorably to continue driving growth and delivering attractive returns as a leading central London mixed-use real estate investment trust (REIT).

Shaftesbury Capital’s balance sheet further reveals that it has completed asset disposals totaling £82 million, representing a 12% increase in value since June. The company maintains a positive outlook on its ability to further expand and generate returns for its shareholders.

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