Land Securities business and markets in ‘good shape’
Shares in Land Securities (LON:LAND) opened higher this morning after the UK’s largest real estate investment trust (REIT) said in a third-quarter trading update that the group’s business and markets were in ‘good shape’.
According to the statement, the company made £10.9 million of investment lettings in the three months to December 31, and there were a further £8 million of lettings currently in solicitors’ hands. Voids, or empty space, in the portfolio rose slightly by the end of the quarter to 2.7 percent, from 2.5 percent at the end of September, due to an increase in its retail portfolio to 2.7 percent from 2.3 percent.
Land Securities bought assets worth £234.6 million during the third quarter. For the nine months to the end of December, the REIT spend £933.9 million on acquisitions. The group sold assets totalling £701.6 million during the quarter, bringing total asset sales for the nine month period to £886.4 million, which marked the end of the company’s restructuring programme. Land Securities has spent the past couple of years revamping its portfolio in response to the changing face of the retail sector. In particular, the group has shed smaller sites and those in less popular locations.
Land Securities chief executive Robert Noel said in the group’s statement today: “Our business and markets are in good shape. In London, rental values are rising due to a shortage of new commercial space just as we are delivering a major programme of office and retail space to the market. Interest in our developments is strong and on terms ahead of our valuers’ most recent estimates.”
The upbeat trading update has underpinned Land Securities’ share price. By 08:21 GMT, the stock had gained 1.12 percent to 1,267.00p According to the Financial Times, the 14 analysts projecting 12 month price targets for the FTSE 100-listed retailer, have a median target of 1,245.00p, with a high estimate of 1,470.00p and a low of 870.00p. As of 16 January 2015, the consensus forecast amongst 31 polled investment analysts covering Land Securities has it that the company will outperform the market.
As of 09:30 GMT, Wednesday, 21 January, Land Securities Group plc share price is 1,268.00p.