Land Securities on pounds 650m buying spree
Thursday 21 May 1998
The scheme, the largest it has undertaken since the property market was booming a decade ago, comes hot on the heels of a pounds 420m development programme the group has just completed.
The news came as Land Securities unveiled a strong set of results for the year to March.
The sharp growth in the property market helped net assets per share rise 18 per cent to 924p. Pre-tax profits increased 9 per cent, to pounds 266m.
Ian Henderson, Land Securities' managing director, ruled out any corporate activity, saying that the group was not considering any mergers or acquisitions.
"We see a lot of speculation about mergers. But it is very difficult when assets are standing at a premium to make any sense of those transactions," he said.
Land Securities said that demand for property was strong across the board. The group plans to continue to concentrate on the central London office market, the out-of-town retail market, some industrial developments and "one or two leisure opportunities".
Mr Henderson said the company's policy of selling properties which no longer provided future growth and replacing them with buildings giving increasing income in the future, might mean that short-term profits could be hit. The group disposed of pounds 247m of property during the year as part of its effort to churn its estate.
However, he said that the property market was unlikely to return to the boom times of the 1980s. "I think it's steady as we go," he said.
Mr Henderson pointed out that the market had so far ridden the strength of sterling, higher interest rates and the economic turmoil in Asia well, but he remained cautious about the future.
Peter Birch, the former chief executive of Abbey National, is to become chairman of the group this July, replacing Sir Peter Hunt, who died in December last year. Land Securities shares closed down 6p at 1,016p.
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...