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Shaftesbury restores dividend as West End revives

By Sean Farrell

Date: Tuesday 30 Nov 2021

Shaftesbury restores dividend as West End revives

(Sharecast News) - Shaftesbury restored its progressive dividend policy as the West End property company reported improving trends and a narrower annual loss.

Pretax loss for the year to to the end of September was £194.9m compared with £699.5m a year earlier as rental income fell to £105m from £114.4m. Valuation deficits fell to £196.8m from £698.2m.

Shaftesbury declared a final dividend of 4p a share after paying no dividend a year earlier. The company said the dividend would track growth in net property income and earnings over time.

The FTSE 250 group said footfall at its London properties was about 80% of 2019 levels during the week and back to prepandemic activity at weekends. Vacancies fell to 6% at the end of the year and 4.9% since then from a peak of 11.9% in March.

Shaftesbury invests in property in London's West End, including Carnaby Street and other parts of Soho. Its business was hit hard by the pandemic, which closed shops and restaurants that occupy much of its portfolio.

Chief Executive Brian Bickell said: "It's been a year dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. With the long and often dispiriting days of last winter behind us, and the streets now once again buzzing with life, the year can only be described as an economic and emotional rollercoaster."


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