Great Portland Estates Trading Update

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Great Portland Estates plc (GPE) today publishes its trading update for the quarter to 31 March 2021.

March quarter rent collection ahead of all four previous quarters

  • 82% of March rent collected to date including amounts covered by rent deposits; 78% excluding deposits (90% from office units; 44% from retail/hospitality/leisure sectors; 91% all other sectors) ahead of all four previous quarters at an equivalent date
  • 84% of rent for the year ended 31 March 2021 rent now collected including drawn deposits; 76% excluding deposits
  • £17.2 million of rent deposits/bank guarantees held, of which £1.7 million anticipated to be utilised against outstanding March rent
  • All offices open for business with COVID-19 Secure status

Encouraging leasing momentum

  • £4.4 million of new annual rent signed in quarter. Market lettings 1.9% ahead of March 2020 ERV, including two lettings at our recently completed Hanover Square, W1 development to Colonial Property Co, for the signature restaurant space, and Lexington Partners for an office floor
  • 16 lettings under offer for £10.7 million (our share: £7.1 million), 8.2% ahead of September 2020 ERV
  • Further c.£35 million of new annual rent in negotiation, demonstrating demand for prime offices and best in class flexible spaces

Good progress across our development programme; one development start, two planning applications submitted

  • Newly committed to major office refurbishment at 50 Finsbury Square, EC2 (127,500 sq ft); market leading sustainability, wellbeing and technology credentials
  • Planning applications now submitted for:
    • 2 Aldermanbury Square, EC2 (320,600 sq ft); new build, office-led redevelopment targeting first net zero carbon building, five years ahead of our 2030 current target
    • French Railways House and 50 Jermyn Street, SW1, providing 65,000 sq ft of highly sustainable, brand new office space in Piccadilly
  • Further planning application for Minerva House, SE1 anticipated to be submitted in next quarter
"The most recent COVID-19 lockdown has disrupted the activities of many businesses across London, resulting in a number of occupiers still being unable to meet their rental commitments. However, the ongoing vaccination programme and Government roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions is supporting renewed optimism, which we are seeing reflected in improved rent collection, greater letting activity and increased enquiry levels on available space. In particular, prime offices and best in class flexible spaces continue to be highly sought after and in relatively short supply, both trends which we expect to persist. Whilst the near term outlook will remain unpredictable, looking beyond COVID, we are confident that London will maintain its position as one of only a handful of truly global cities attracting businesses, capital and talent from around the world. In that context, we are well positioned. Our leverage is low, providing significant capacity for growth; our extensive development pipeline is set to deliver high quality, sustainable spaces that remain in high demand; across of our investment portfolio, we are delivering flexible, tech-enabled spaces that support the productivity and wellbeing of our customers; this, combined with the talents of our experienced team and strong culture, means that we have an exciting opportunity to deliver on all our ambitions."
Toby Courtauld
Toby Courtauld
Chief Executive