Strong office leasing: GPE trading update

05 October 2021

 

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

Strong leasing momentum maintained; strongest quarterly rent collection since December 2019

  • £14.3 million of new annual rent signed in the quarter to 30 September, market lettings 10.4% ahead of March 2021 ERV, including £8.5 million pre-let
  • £3.3 million of further lettings under offer, 7.3% ahead of March 2021 ERV
  • £38 million of new annual rent in negotiation, demonstrating demand for prime offices and best in class flexible spaces
  • First fully fitted and managed space at 16 Dufour’s Place fully let, average rent £191 per sq ft
  • Improved September quarter rent collection; strongest quarterly performance since December 2019

Crystallising surpluses at 160 Old Street, EC1

  • 160 Old Street, EC1 sold for £181.5 million, reflecting 5% premium to March 2021 valuation

Excellent progress across our development programme; major pre-let secured, resolution to grant planning achieved at French Railways House & 50 Jermyn Street, SW1

  • Good progress at our major office refurbishment at 50 Finsbury Square, EC2 (128,100 sq ft); offices now 100% pre-let, targeting Net Zero Carbon, completion expected Q4 2022
  • Momentum maintained on four-near term schemes (909,400 sq ft) with forecast capex of c.£800 million; resolution to grant planning achieved at French Railways House & 50 Jermyn Street, SW1 in July
  • s106 signed at 2 Aldermanbury Square, EC2 ahead of potential 320,500 sq ft development start in early 2022, strong occupier interest

We have had a strong quarter, maintaining our leasing momentum as central London continues to reopen and people return to the office, whilst crystallising our returns through the sale of 160 Old Street, EC1. Occupier demand is robust, focusing on prime Grade A space and flex office products, both of which play to our strengths. Testament to this, in the quarter we pre-leased all the offices at 50 Finsbury Square, EC2 and successfully completed the letting programme at our first fully fitted and managed space at 16 Dufour’s Place, W1 at an average rent of £191 per sq ft. Looking ahead we expect healthy demand to persist and today we have a further £3.3 million of lettings under offer 7.3% ahead of ERV and £38 million of new annual rent in negotiation, including in our near-term pipeline where construction is expected to start early next year. This continued demand for our spaces, combined with our sizeable development pipeline and plentiful liquidity, means we remain well placed to capitalise on the expected growth in the London and UK economy.

Toby Courtauld Chief Executive
  • Nick Sanderson

    Chief Financial & Operating Officer

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  • Stephen Burrows

    Director of Financial Reporting & Investor Relations

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  • Finsbury Glover Hering

    Gordon Simpson

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    T: +44 (0) 20 7251 3801

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