The highlights are: adjusted diluted net asset value per share up 8.4% to 1443p (31/03/2004: 1331p); uplift of 5.3% in the valuation of the investment portfolio; pre-tax profits rose 8.2% to £196.6m (30/09/2003: £181.7m); revenue profits increased by 13.4% to £189.3m (30/09/2003: £167.0m); adjusted diluted earnings per share up 11.8% to 28.56p (30/09/2003: 25.55p); increase of 5.1% in the interim dividend to 10.4p (30/09/2003: 9.9p), reflecting the Board’s confidence in the Group’s prospects.
Strong progress within the investment property business was demonstrated by:
- Ongoing improvement in Central London market and completion of 90,000m2 of occupier transactions contributed to 4.4% increase in value of London Office portfolio
- Continuing strength of retail portfolio shown by 5.8% increase in valuation
- Properties worth £42.5m sold from investment portfolio, with aggregate purchases totalling £254.3m
- Substantial increase in profits delivered by Land Securities Trillium and completion, during the period under review, of a third corporate property outsourcing contract with Norwich Union
- Decision taken to focus on Retail, London Offices and Property Outsourcing, where the Group has market leading positions; strategy reinforced by exchange of contracts with Slough Estates, following the period end, for a swap of property with a combined value of over £700m
- Post half year completion of £3.2bn debt restructuring, providing positive benefits for Land Securities’ equity and debt investors.
Commenting on the results, Peter Birch, Chairman of Land Securities, said:
“As our results show the business has had a strong first half. We are very pleased with the excellent performance of our property outsourcing business Land Securities Trillium, which continues to achieve results ahead of our expectations for this year. In London the lettings that we have completed in the first half, comprise a substantial share of those concluded during the period, and we have the skills and resource to benefit from the improving London markets. As anticipated, the rate of rental growth for retail has slowed but we believe that our retail portfolio offers good opportunities to drive rental growth from a relatively low base through asset management and development activity.
An increase of 5.1% in the interim dividend to 10.4p demonstrates our confidence in the prospects for your Group.”
Source: Land Securities