British Land – Building A Post-Pandemic Empire

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British Land Company PLC (LON:BLND)’s half year underlying profit rose 12.1% to £120m, reflecting a 10% increase in net rental income, to £210m, driven by a reduction in money set aside for debtors and tenant incentives, as covid-related uncertainty eased. 96% of first half rent was collected.


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Including the upwards revision of the value of its property portfolio, the group reported a £370m profit after tax, compared to a £730m loss last year.

So far this year, the group’s made £501m worth of acquisitions. Several logistics purchases mean Urban Logistics now accounts for 4% of the Retail & Fulfilment portfolio,

The Board proposed a 10.32p per share interim dividend.

The shares were unmoved following the announcement.

British Land’s Post-Pandemic Normalcy

Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:

“British Land’s enjoying the ride into post-pandemic normalcy as businesses reopen and rent collection improves. Less uncertainty meant the group was able to release some of the money it set aside in case its tenants defaulted and that provided a welcome boost to profits.

But British Land isn’t necessarily out of the woods just yet. A large part of the portfolio is still reliant on retail clients, a sector that has been all-but levelled in the wake of the pandemic. The group’s snapping up retail park locations on the premise that these out-of-town locations won’t disappear completely amid a shift to e-commerce. It’s also jumping on the need for distribution centres as more businesses look to beef up their online presence—we were encouraged to see that logistics properties now make up 4% of the retail portfolio.

All told, BLND has done a good job coping with the pandemic-accelerated shift away from brick-and-mortar retail. But it’s not totally insulated from the ecommerce revolution, so while  opting to reposition is a sensible strategy, the execution risk hangs heavy.”

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