Land Securities to stop building speculatively as NAV jumps

LONDON Thu May 15, 2014 2:23am EDT

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LONDON May 15 (Reuters) - Land Securities, Britain's largest listed property developer, posted a better than expected 12.2 percent rise in net asset value and announced an end to its strategy of building London offices speculatively.

The builder of the Walkie Talkie skyscraper in London's City financial district said on Thursday adjusted diluted net asset value for the year to March 31 was 1,013 pence, up from 903 pence in the previous year, on a 9.9 percent increase in revenue profit.

Analysts were expecting adjusted diluted net asset value (NAV) per share of 1003 pence, a 11 percent increase, against revenue profit of 307 million pounds, a company-supplied consensus showed.

The company, which has built more than one billion pounds of London schemes with no lettings in place after it forecasted a supply squeeze, said growing competition for sites and rising construction costs meant that any new, near-term development commitments were likely to require re-lets.

It said it did not expect Britain's improved economic conditions and real growth in wages to translate yet into rental growth across the entire retail market, and would continue to sell properties in order to invest in new schemes such as city centre and edge-of town developments.

Land Securities also said its Walkie Talkie skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street - which hit headlines last year after it was blamed for scorching the panels of a Jaguar car - was now 87 percent let and it had found a solution for the solar glare issue. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Kate Holton)

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