Shaftesbury sees profits surge as it hails Crossrail arrival

The firm’s net property income grew 55% to £41 million in the six months to March 2022, while the value of its portfolio swelled 7.5% in six months to reach £3.26 billion.

Monthly sales across the firm’s portfolio of 291 shops and 322 bars and restaurants were up 7% on pre-pandemic levels, while rental income was up 11.5%, fuelled by improved occupancy and the end of rental support for occupiers.

Footfall in the West End was continuing to recover, boosted by the return of international visitors, the company said, while the arrival of the Elizabeth line in central London would lead to a “a material increase in visitor numbers and spending.”

Shaftesbury warned of challenges posed by inflationary pressure, supply chain disruption and tax rises but boss Brian Bickell said: “Whilst London and the West End cannot be completely sheltered from these headwinds, their global status, appeal and broad-based, dynamic economies should provide a considerable degree of protection, which few other locations can match.”

Founded in 1986, Shaftesbury has a portfolio of 16 acres of shops, bars and offices in the West End, including parts of Chinatown, Covent Garden and Soho, all of which are within a 10 minute walk to new Elizabeth line stations at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street.

The value of office rents in Soho has risen 42% since the Crossrail project was given royal assent in 2008, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield, as the growth in rents along the route of the Elizabeth line outpaced the rest of London.

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