TOP NEWS: Shaftesbury sees from strong recovery for London West End

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Shaftesbury PLC on Tuesday reported a jump in net property income in the first half of its financial year as the London West End rebounds from the virus pandemic.

Shaftesbury is a real estate investment trust that owns a 16-acre portfolio in the central London entertainment district.

For the six months that ended in on March 31, net property income grew by 55% to £41.1 million from £26.5 million in the previous year.

Shaftesbury swung to a pretax profit of £247.6 million from a loss of £338.5 million the year before.

Chief Executive Brian Bickell said: ‘The continuing strong rebound in the West End economy since the lifting of pandemic restrictions last summer has continued throughout the period. The patient, long-term stewardship of our high-profile, centrally located ownerships, and the actions we took to support our occupiers and stakeholders through the long period of pandemic challenges, have underpinned the welcome recovery we are now seeing in key operating metrics.’

Shaftesbury declared an interim dividend of 4.8 pence per share in May, doubled from 2.4p a year before.

On March 31, the external valuation of the wholly-owned portfolio was £3.26 billion, up 7.5% over the recent six months due to rental growth.

Shaftesbury added that it aims to become a net zero carbon business by 2030.

Shares were up 0.7% at 583.50 pence each on Tuesday afternoon in London.

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