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British Land cuts amount of speculative building

17 Mai 2017

Its latest results show statutory pre-tax profit fell from £1.3bn in 2016 to £195m in the year once income from disposals was taken into account.

IFRS pre-tax profits though, dropped to £195m, down from £1.3bn past year.

Still, British Land reported 1.7m sq ft of lettings and renewals "despite the low level of vacancy", eight per cent ahead of estimated value, and added £22m of rent.

British Land confirmed its commitment to pushing ahead with the huge 19 ha mixed-use development at Canada Water, a planning application for which is expected by the end of the year, despite seeing the value of the scheme fall by 10.8 per cent following a reassessment.

The company also announced a final quarterly dividend of 7.3 pence, up 3 percent, and proposed a first-quarter dividend of 7.52 pence.

We also look forward with cautious optimism as we believe that we can generate incremental returns by allocating capital to development opportunities we have created, whilst keeping risk at an appropriate level and maintaining flexibility to respond to changes in our markets.

He did highlight that the uncertainty in property markets meant businesses were taking longer to commit to taking space and being more thorough in their assessments.

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The company reported a 7.4 percent increase in full-year underlying profit to 390 million pounds ($503.61 million).

The FTSE-100 company said on Wednesday that adjusted fiscal 2017 net asset value a share fell 0.4% to 915 pence, though that was better than some analysts' expectations.

Shares dipped 1.34 per cent to 665.00p in early trading.

Analyst Nicholas Hyett at Hargreaves Lansdown said the headline numbers were "actually pretty good, valuations haven't tumbled and rental income has remained robust, even improved" and that the continued steady growth of the dividend "will be what matters most for many investors".

He does though note, that the firm is "clearly uncomfortable about the future".

"We are reporting a good set of results today despite an uncertain environment over the last 12 months", Grigg said. Speculative developments have been reined right back and leverage is falling as the group sells some high profile assets, including a 50% stake in the Cheesegrater.

The shares trade on 26% discount to FY17 NAV and yield 4.3%, with Numis increasingly positive on the broader sector.

British Land cuts amount of speculative building