The Crown Estate, the Queen’s main source of income, has announced a increase in return to the Treasury of £329.4m, boosted by its central london retail property.
On a like-for-like basis income was up 4% when compared with the £316.7m returned in 2016/17.
The Crown Estate said that business “continued to benefit from years of disciplined investment in high quality assets in great locations”, with the Central London and Regional portfolios both “outperforming their respective market benchmarks to deliver strong returns, against a wider slowdown in these sectors”.
New retail lettings were seen as one of the main drivers including flagship stores for Microsoft, Asics, L’Occitane and Aspinal of London. It took Crown Estate’s retail offering to nearly 260,000 sqft of space, at a total headline rent of over £30m per annum.
Alison Nimmo, chief executive of The Crown Estate said: “Our highly skilled team has delivered another great set of results this year, against a backdrop of a challenging and uncertain market.
“This success has been built on a disciplined focus on creating high-quality service and experiences for our customers in the best locations, and an approach to business that looks beyond short-term volatility to deliver long term, sustainable outperformance.”
Robin Budenberg, chairman of The Crown Estate added: “Once again the business has delivered strong returns for the nation’s finances. It has been an exciting year and we have begun to pivot the business away from a traditional bricks and mortar approach towards a more customer-focused, services-based model, so we are preparing to take advantage of the trends that are transforming how people want to work, live and socialise in the future.”