Canary Wharf set for profit next year

CANARY WHARF, the property group which owns the eponymous London Docklands development, including the landmark tower, said yesterday that it was confident of turning in a profit by next year after halving its losses in the year to 30 June.

The group, which floated on the London stock market with a pounds 2.2bn price tag in April, saw losses before tax narrow to pounds 42.8m from pounds 96.3m last year as income from rents and service charges jumped by more than 50 per cent.

Paul Reichmann, chairman, said the development is set to get a boost with the long-awaited extension of the Jubilee Underground line. The company also expects revenues to rise sharply as a number of buildings in the complex are sold next year.

"We are optimistic and confident not only about Canary Wharf but also about the future of London as the premier business centre of Europe and the future of the London property market," he said.

Paul Anderson, finance director said the buildings were99 per cent let. Construction has also begun on two more towers - a 1.1 million square foot tower which will house the UK and worldwide headquarters for HSBC, the banking giant - and a 600,000 sq ft tower for Citigroup, the US financial services group which is committed to 560,000 sq ft of space on the Wharf.

The company also let a further 100,000 sq ft in its existing buildings in Docklands to Bank of New York, with only the top floor of the Canary Wharf tower is still vacant.