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Coronavirus

Landsec swings to £1.39bn loss amid pandemic

As the vast majority of its portfolio was either closed or ‘substantially unoccupied’ amid ongoing lockdowns, revenue plummeted 39.4% to £251m

Land Securities has fallen to a pre-tax loss of £1.39bn in the full-year ended 31 March, 2021, in results that “clearly reflect the challenges” of the pandemic over the period. 

As the vast majority of its portfolio was either closed or “substantially unoccupied” amid ongoing lockdowns, revenue plummeted 39.4% to £251m, down from revenues of £414m the prior year. 

In addition, its Combined Portfolio was valued at £10.8bn, with a valuation deficit of £1.65bn or 13.7%.

The landlord said it is now entering its recovery phase, adding that there is the “real prospect of a strong consumption led recovery across the remainder of 2021 and 2022, although this is not without risk”. 

Nonetheless, in light of its “proactive approach” to the pandemic, Landsec said it is poised for recovery with a strategy that reportedly positions it for long-term growth.

The four priorities for its recovery strategy include: Optimising its Central London portfolio; “Reimagining retail” by redefining how it does retail in a multi-channel world; Growing through Urban opportunities and delivering multi-phased, urban mixed-use schemes; Realising capital from Subscale sectors.

It added that the London office market “remains resilient and competitive”, and investor interest in the London office market remains high, offering opportunities to recycle capital.

CEO Mark Allan said: “Our results for the year to March 2021 clearly reflect the challenges caused by both the pandemic and the associated restrictions. However, from the very outset of the first lockdown we have been focused on supporting our customers and ensuring that the business emerges from the pandemic in as strong a position as possible. The positive effects of this decisive action will become clearer in the years ahead.

“We are now entering the recovery phase. Government action to support the economy was swift and the speed of the ongoing vaccination programme impressive. As a result, there is the real prospect of a strong consumption led recovery across the remainder of 2021 and 2022.” 

He added: “Like many people, I was encouraged to see the relish with which people returned to experience in-person shopping as the easing of lockdown measures began in April, and early indicators are that this excitement is driving a strong return to our retail assets. 

“With this week marking the next milestone in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown we expect to see even more. As a result of our proactive approach to the challenges posed by the pandemic, Landsec is poised for the recovery with a strategy that positions the business for long-term growth.”

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