Landsec to dispose of retail parks

Landsec has unveiled its plans to dispose of its retail parks where there is “little or no competitive advantage”, in a newly-announced restructuring of the group’s portfolio. 

It comes as the property group said that whilst the retail sector is “facing clear structural challenges as a result of the emergence of online shopping”, accelerated by the pandemic, “not all retail is the same”. 

The news comes ahead of the property group’s virtual capital markets presentation for analysts and investors later today (19 October). 

At the presentation, CEO Mark Allan and senior management will “explain the future strategic direction for the company and their priorities to create value for all stakeholders”.

Allan said: “Today we are setting out a strategy that makes the most of Landsec’s strengths and positions the business for growth. It will build on existing areas of competitive advantage. It will position the business to benefit from long-term macro trends.

“And it will be built around a clear, authentic purpose so that it delivers value not just for shareholders but for all stakeholders.”

As part of its new growth strategy, the group said it plans to optimise its central London business through targeted capital recycling and fund investment.  

It added that it will also concentrate on enhanced returns through “significant” investment in mixed use urban opportunities, both from within its current portfolio and through new investments in London and other major UK cities.

In a statement, Landsec said: “Landsec has a proven track record of creating, and the potential to add, significant value through its portfolio and activities. We will therefore prioritise delivering above market total returns through the cycle. 

“Income will be an important component of our property returns but we do not believe it should be the key driver. This approach will enable us to increase our focus on delivering true value creation. Delivering our strategy will involve taking more operational risk and this will be offset through lower levels of financial gearing.” 

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