Since 17 May, British Land Company PLC (LON:BLND)’s footfall and sales have been running at 86% and 94% of pre-pandemic levels across its Retail portfolio.
85% of total rents have been collected for June, and rent’s being collected at a faster rate than the previous two quarters.
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The shares rose 1.1% following the announcement.
Retail Sales At British Land Surge
Sophie Lund-Yates, Senior Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown commented:
“We’re seeing a retail resurgence, with sales reaching 94% of pre-pandemic levels across British Land’s retail portfolio. The outlook is especially bright in retail parks. This is a shift that’s been triggered by the pandemic, as retail park shops tend to be roomier, making social distancing an easier task. It’s possible that, even as conditions relax, customers who found they prefer getting away from the hustle and bustle of town centres, will continue favouring retail parks. This change in consumer preferences is also nudging the value of retail park asset values up. This is a welcome step change for British Land, who saw the pandemic wipe huge chunks of value off rents and asset values.
There is still plenty of work to be done though – the blow to profits last year will take some time to unwind, and the systemic problems facing the retail industry are well documented. To that end, British Land’s accelerated foray into the world of logistics is to be applauded. Cementing opportunities to help retailers with their online logistics is the right move for British Land’s future.
British Land’s flexible working space offering is also seeing increased enquiries, which could be another COVID tailwind, as our working patterns are unlikely to go back to normal. Exactly what this means for the traditional office portfolio is yet to be seen, and in that sense, the pandemic has been bittersweet for the group.”
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