British Land (LON:BLND), the UK’s second-largest real estate investment trust (REIT), has reported a good start to the year, with strong occupational demand and lettings well ahead of estimated market rental value.
The FTSE 100-listed property group said in a trading update this morning that it had recorded 129,000 square feet of lettings and renewals for its retail division in the first quarter. Similarly, its office division recorded 132,000 square feet of lettings and renewals in the same period.
British Land also confirmed last week’s news that its Leadenhall Building, also known as the Cheesegrater, is now 90 percent full – up from 84 percent at the end of March. The REIT further remarked that its financial position remained strong and raised its Q1 dividend by 2.5 percent to of 7.09p.
British Land’s CEO, Chris Gigg, stated: "We've had a good start to the year, making real progress against the priorities set out at our results in May in what are strong occupational and investment markets. In Retail, our operational metrics remain strong and we continue to recycle capital by selling selected mature assets and investing into our existing portfolio. In Offices, we're pleased with the deals we've done at the Leadenhall Building and in the supply constrained City market we're positive about our prospects on the remaining space."
Despite the upbeat interim trading update, British Land’ share price declined this morning. After a brief increase at the opening bell, the stock fell, changing hands 0.06 percent lower at 846.00p as of 08:43 BST.