Commercial property investor British Land (BLND) ticked up 0.2% to 520.6p as its latest update on rent collection continued to improve. A trend which is also being seen within its wider peer group.

The company collected a greater proportion of the rent due as the lifting of restrictions helped boost the performance of retailers, with footfall and sales nearing pre-pandemic levels.

‘Rents are stabilising with recent deals in line with March ERV and there are indications that retail park values are starting to rise as more investors target the market,’ the company said.

Jefferies analysts Mike Prew and Andrew Gill commented that the reported rent collection rate was a ‘marked improvement’. Adding that: ‘We note open air, out of town retail parks represent 53% of British Land retail assets which are a hedge on Covid lockdowns.’

THE DETAIL ON RENT

Across the business, £87 million of rent was due for payment in the June 2021 quarter. This comprised £43 million in retail and £44 million in offices.

As of 8 July 2021, 11 working days after the quarter end, the company collected 85% of the total amount (99% for offices, 71% for retail). In the retail component rent collection was 24% ahead of the same point for the December quarter and 17% ahead of the same point for the March quarter.

March rent collection was now 91% overall, with 99% in offices and 85% in retail collected.

The company continues to pursue a strategy of focusing on London offices and mixed-use developments and the right kind of retail and retail logistics assets, recently sanctioning the next phase of the Aldgate Place development in London’s East End.

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Issue Date: 13 Jul 2021