Shaftesbury Capital hails “excellent start” in first year since merger

29th February 2024 | Jack Oliver

Shaftesbury Capital’s chief executive Ian Hawksworth has hailed an “excellent start” for the business in its first full-year results since Shaftesbury and Capital & Counties merged last spring.

The real estate investment trust (REIT) recorded 526 leasing transactions in 2023, representing £37m of rent. This was 10% ahead of the REIT’s December 2022 estimated rental value, with 68 new retail and hospitality concepts joining the Shaftesbury Capital estate over the year.

Of these 526 leasing transactions, 188 were within the commercial sector, representing £24.2m of rent. Shaftesbury Capital said it has a low vacancy rate, with 2.1% of ERV available to rent.

In 2023, the REIT’s annualised gross income increased by 10.4% on a like-for-like basis to £192.8m, whilst its ERV growth recorded a like-for-like increase of 6.9% to £236.9m.

The value of Shaftesbury Capital’s wholly-owned portfolio fell by 0.8% on a like for like basis to £4.8bn, with ERV growth offset by an equivalent yield movement of 26 basis points to 4.34%.

To date, the REIT has completed £145 million of asset disposals, 8 per cent ahead of valuation, and said it has several other assets under offer.

Shaftesbury Capital said that despite the uncertain geopolitical and macroeconomic backdrop, its performance and leasing pipeline – alongside positive trading conditions across its West End locations, provide the REIT with confidence in its portfolio’s growth prospects.

Ian Hawksworth said: “It has been an excellent start for Shaftesbury Capital, with positive metrics delivered across the business. We set clear priorities and are pleased with the pace and performance over the first year with significant rental income growth and cost savings driving financial performance. There is strong leasing activity and pipeline across all uses with 526 leasing transactions completed at rents on average 10 per cent ahead of December 2022 ERV.

“Despite geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty, our portfolio has demonstrated its exceptional qualities with a stable portfolio valuation. There is a broad pool of investors attracted to prime West End real estate as demonstrated by recent sales totalling £145 million at a premium to valuation.

“Backed by our strong balance sheet, unique portfolio and talented team, we are confident of delivering further rental growth and attractive returns in the years ahead as the leading central London mixed-use REIT.”


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