Momentum Building: GPE Trading Update

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Great Portland Estates plc (GPE) today publishes its trading update for the quarter to 30 June 2021.

Strong leasing momentum

  • £12.7 million of new annual rent signed, including £8.0 million of retail space, market lettings 9.3% ahead of March 2021 ERV, including a further three lettings at our new Flex+ offering at 16 Dufour’s Place, W1 (now 90% let or under offer within 3 months of launch)
  • £14.9 million of further lettings under offer (up from £5.5 million at May), 6.7% ahead of March 2021 ERV
  • £33 million of new annual rent in negotiation, demonstrating demand for prime offices and best in class flexible spaces

Improved rent collection: strong June quarter rent collection ahead of all four previous quarters

  • 86% of June rent collected to date including amounts covered by rent deposits; 84% excluding deposits (93% from office units; 58% from retail/hospitality/leisure sectors; 94% all other sectors) ahead of March quarter at equivalent date
  • All offices open for business with 32% occupier utilisation; 92% of retail units open

Excellent progress across our development programme; one completion, resolution to grant planning achieved for 320,500 sq ft prime office scheme at 2 Aldermanbury Square, EC2

  • 1 Newman Street, W1 (122,700 sq ft) completed in July, 38% let including 15,200 sq ft retail letting, good interest in remaining office space
  • Good progress at major office refurbishment at 50 Finsbury Square, EC2 (128,100 sq ft); now all under offer, forecast 21% profit on cost, targeting NZC, £45 million capex to complete (expected Q4 2022)
  • Momentum maintained on four-near term schemes (909,400 sq ft); resolution to grant planning permission achieved at 2 Aldermanbury Square, EC2 (320,500 sq ft new build); c.£800 million capex ahead of potential starts in 2022; strong occupier interest

Strong financial position; total liquidity of £423 million

  • Property LTV2 of 19.1%, weighted average interest rate of 2.5%, cash/undrawn facilities of £423 million
  • Total prospective capex of c.£900 million (including refurbishments)
  • Organic rent roll growth of 104% including four near-term developments

Embracing change and innovation

  • New HR Director, Carrie Heiss, to join in September and appointed to Executive Committee
  • The Hickman, E1 awarded SmartScore ‘Platinum’ rating, the first award globally
  • Detailed reporting on our Sustainability performance to 31 March 2021 is now available on our website
"The acceleration in enquiries that we experienced in the first quarter of the year has translated into healthy leasing activity, particularly for our prime Grade A and flex office products. In a strong leasing quarter, we have continued to let space ahead of ERV, improved our rental collection performance and have placed 50 Finsbury Square, EC2, under offer to a single occupier. Furthermore, we have passed a significant milestone for our development pipeline by securing resolution to grant planning permission for the comprehensive redevelopment of 2 Aldermanbury Square, EC2. As momentum in our markets builds, we can expect demand for our flexible and sustainable spaces to grow. With our sizeable development programme designed to satisfy customers’ changing needs, our low leverage and high liquidity providing significant capacity for growth and our talented and innovative team, we are well placed to capitalise in such a dynamic market environment."
Toby Courtauld
Toby Courtauld
Chief Executive