UK's Shaftesbury says tenant sales top pre-pandemic levels

Jan 30 (Reuters) - West End-focused commercial landlord Shaftesbury Plc (SHB.L) said on Monday its properties saw buoyant activity during the key year-end festive period, with the average occupier trading levels topping pre-pandemic numbers.

The update from Shaftesbury comes despite a time when London-focused hospitality firms and fashion retailers have flagged lower-than-expected customer visits to their shops during the holiday season, plagued by nationwide rail strikes over pay hike.

Shaftesbury, which owns about 600 buildings, said its hospitality, retail and leisure tenants outperformed the wider West End during the festive season, with occupants' average turnover rising 6% above 2019 levels and 42% ahead of the 2021 period, which was affected by pandemic restrictions.

London-based Shaftesbury said valuation of its overall properties fell to 3.11 billion pounds ($3.85 billion) by the end of the December quarter, from 3.19 billion pounds in the prior quarter, mainly hurt by an increase in yields.

Shaftesbury in June had announced a merger with Capital & Counties Properties (CAPCC.L) to create a 5-billion-pound estate with sites in tourist hotspots including Covent Garden, Carnaby Street and Soho.

Capital & Counties said in a separate statement that trading conditions across its Covent Garden estate have been "positive", helped by a successful Christmas period with customer sales exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

($1 = 0.8081 pounds)

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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