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Shaftesbury enjoying the London commerical boom


02-14-2014

www.StockMarketWire.com

London focused commercial property firm Shaftesbury said with continuing strong demand for all uses the portfolio remains substantially fully let, and the numerous refurbishment and reconfiguration schemes are letting quickly on completion. London's West End continues to be a popular destination for domestic and international visitors as well as Londoners. Despite exceptionally adverse weather conditions over the Christmas and New Year period, visitor numbers and spending, particularly in restaurants, cafes and bars, have been resilient.

With continuing strong demand for all uses the portfolio remains substantially fully let, and our numerous refurbishment and reconfiguration schemes are letting quickly on completion. Importantly, the quality and variety of the businesses the group is attracting are enhancing the shopping, restaurant and leisure choices across its central West End villages, in line with the long-term management strategy. The mixed-use scheme, in Carnaby, to redevelop the buildings fronting the south side of Foubert's Place and Kingly Street is progressing well and is expected to be completed in phases from early 2015. The scheme will provide 32,500 sq. ft. of space including 7,500 sq. ft. of retail on Foubert's Place, a flagship restaurant of 6,500 sq. ft. on Kingly Street, 10,000 sq. ft. of offices over three floors and twelve apartments. The scheme's ERV of 2.0 million is 1.6 million above pre-scheme rental income. The ERV of other schemes underway at 31 December 2013 was 3.2 million, equivalent to 3.0% of total ERV.

This included one large shop (ERV > 100,000 p.a.) and 10 small shops. Of the five restaurants and cafes being refurbished, two are under offer. Offices under refurbishment included 11,000 sq. ft. (ERV: 0.7 million) in Ganton Street, Carnaby, of which 0.5 million is under offer. Other schemes also included the creation and refurbishment of 24 apartments, which we expect to complete over the coming six months. The ERV of available to let space was 1.8 million (30.9.2013; 2.5 million), of which 0.3 million was under offer. The twenty three available shops included four large shops (ERV: 0.5 million). Of the fourteen apartments available to let, six were under offer.

Acquisitions In the period ended 31 December 2013, Shaftesbury acquired five properties at a total cost of 10.5 million and agreed terms to acquire a further three properties totalling 9.25 million. In the wholly owned portfolio the completed acquisitions, in Charlotte Street and Chinatown, included two shops, one restaurant, one bar and five apartments. In addition, the Longmartin joint venture bought in a long leasehold interest on 7,500 sq. ft. of office space within its existing ownership. Finance Total debt at 31 December 2013 was 611.8 million, an increase of 6.6 million since 30 September 2013, and undrawn committed facilities totalled 84.2 million (30.9.2013: 90.8 million). The weighted average maturity of facilities was 5.8 years. Taking into account 360.0 million of long-term interest rate swaps, the average cost of debt at 31 December 2013 was 5.25% (30.9.2013: 5.07%). The marginal cost of borrowing was around 1.85%. The fair value deficit of long-term interest rate swaps fell over the first quarter by 11.2 million to 84.6 million.

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