MARKET REPORT: Boost for landlords as shoppers return to London’s West End


Shares in two of Britain’s biggest commercial landlords rose as shoppers flocked back to London’s West End.

Shaftesbury and Capital & Counties (Capco) – which between them own vast swathes of Covent Garden, Soho, Chinatown and Carnaby Street – warned that the value of their estates had fallen as rising interest rates wreaked havoc on the property market.

Shaftesbury saw the value of its portfolio slide 3.6 per cent to £3.2billion in the six months to September.

Shaftesbury and Capital & Counties – which own vast swathes of Covent Garden, Soho, Chinatown and Carnaby Street (pictured) – warned that the value of their estates had fallen

Capco’s valuation sank 2 per cent to £1.8billion in the three months to September.

But shares rose – with Shaftesbury up 2.23 per cent and Capco 2.71 per cent – as the outlook on the ground appeared brighter than feared.

Shaftesbury heralded the West End’s first summer without Covid restrictions, which helped boost shopper and visitor numbers.

Leasing activity remained stable over the six months to the end of September, the group added.

Meanwhile, Capco was upbeat on footfall and sales across Covent Garden. It has raked in £3million of contracted income since June and signed 35 new leases and renewals, including the jewellery brand Mejuri and the premium sportswear brand Hoka.

Two other stores signed by Capco are to open by Christmas alongside the launch of a partnership with Dolce & Gabbana.

Shaftesbury boss Brian Bickell hailed the ‘strong operational performance’ of the group’s portfolio despite economic uncertainty and higher interest rates. 

The landlords are set to complete a £3.5billion mega-merger in the first quarter next year if it is approved by the competition watchdog.

Stock Watch – Jadestone Energy

Jadestone Energy rose after completing its purchase of a stake in an oil project off the coast of Western Australia.

The AIM-listed group bought BP’s 16.67 per cent stake in four oil fields for £17.4million.

Some 650,000 barrels of crude will be sold from the oil fields later this month, adding ‘significant cash proceeds’ to Jadestone by the end of the year, the group added. 

Boss Paul Blakeley said the fields will be a ‘key asset’. Shares gained 5.9 per cent, or 4p, to 71.8p.

The FTSE 100 added 1.29 per cent, or 91.63 points, to 7186.16, and the FTSE 250 was up 1.71 per cent, or 305.97 points, to 18195.9.

Mining stocks gained on the back of rising metal prices, a weaker dollar and hopes that China could relax its zero-Covid policy. Glencore was up 4.86 per cent, or 24.3p, to 523.8p, Anglo American 6.06 per cent, or 158p, to 2,766.5p and Antofagasta added 4.72 per cent, or 55.5p, to 1,231p.

Ukraine-focused miner Ferrexpo warned it was drawing down stockpiles of its iron ore products to supply customers.

Shares sank 4.41 per cent, or 4.5p, to 97.6p following the news.

Retail and leisure stocks were on the front foot as the brighter mood on the markets lifted shares that have spent much of the year on the slide.

Asos gained 9.49 per cent, B&M was up 4.77 per cent and Sainsbury’s rose 2.67 per cent while pub chain Mitchells & Butlers rose 9.38 per cent.

Pest control and property care group Rentokil notched up another quarter of double-digit sales growth. 

The FTSE 100 firm reported an 18.9 per cent jump in total revenues to £901.3million in the third quarter. But shares fell 4.3 per cent, or 23.4p, to 521p.

IWG fell 0.08 per cent, or 0.1p, to 131.9p after it said profit for the year would be at the lower end of market expectations of between £304million and £380million.

Meanwhile, online electricals retailer AO World surged 8.5 per cent, or 3.8p, to 48.5p after it put the global chief digital officer at Pret A Manger on its board.

Aston Martin has appointed two representatives from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to its board.

The move came after the Saudis took an 18.67 per cent stake as the British carmaker raised fresh funds this summer – making them the second largest shareholder behind executive chairman Lawrence Stroll. 

Ahmed Al-Subaey, boss of the national shipping company of Saudi Arabia, and Frederick Robertson of PIF joined as non-executive directors yesterday.

Aston Martin shares were up 0.09 per cent, or 0.1p, to 105.7p.

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