Company Announcements

Trading Statement

Source: RNS
RNS Number : 4943B
Shaftesbury PLC
31 January 2020



Trading update

High footfall, good trading, stable demand for space and high levels of asset management activity


Shaftesbury PLC, the Real Estate Investment Trust that owns a 15.2-acre portfolio in the heart of London's West End, today announces a trading update for the period 1 October 2019 to 30 January 2020. The announcement is being issued prior to the Company's Annual General Meeting, which is being held later today. 





·    High footfall and good trading throughout the festive period.

·    Stable occupier demand for all uses and in each of our villages: £8.0 million of leasing transactions concluded at or above September 2019 ERVs during three months to 31 December 2019.


·    EPRA vacancy at 31 December 2019: 3.6% of portfolio ERV (Sept 2019: 3.7%), of which 1.3% under offer.

·    High levels of refurbishment and repurposing schemes continue, extending to 211,000 sq. ft. and representing 10.3% of portfolio ERV at 31 December 2019.


·    72 Broadwick Street scheme: half of commercial space pre-let; encouraging interest in remaining space.




Brian Bickell, Chief Executive, commented:


"Traditionally, the period leading up to and throughout Christmas and New Year has always seen the highest footfall and busiest trading, and this year has been no exception. Early data indicates that generally our occupiers, particularly F&B businesses, have seen turnover growth over the period, in contrast to reports of static or declining revenue and footfall nationally.


There are early signs of increasing activity in institutional property investment markets, although, in our locations, private owners remain reluctant to sell assets which, in common with our portfolio, offer both security and potential for income and value growth.


Our proven strategy and impossible-to-replicate portfolio continue to give us confidence in the long-term prospects for the business."


31 January 2020

For further information:

Shaftesbury PLC 020 7333 8118

Brian Bickell, Chief Executive

Chris Ward, Finance Director

RMS Partners 020 3735 6551

Simon Courtenay

MHP Communications 020 3128 8100

Oliver Hughes/Reg Hoare

Shaftesbury PLC LEI: 213800N7LHKFNTDKAT98




Our 15.2-acre portfolio is located in the heart of London's West End, a popular and vibrant destination. With estimated annual footfall of over 200 million, it provides a resilient, seven-days-a-week trading environment and access to a diverse, relatively more-affluent customer base for the 607 shops, restaurants, cafés and bars which have chosen to locate in our carefully-curated, dynamic and prosperous locations. Extending to over 1.1 million sq. ft., they account for 69% of our rental income.


The outcome of the December 2019 general election has brought a return to political stability, although consumer spending and business confidence are likely to remain fragile in the months ahead until there is clarity over the future trading and other relationships with the EU. However, the West End continues to attract, and benefit from, significant investment in its infrastructure and buildings by the public and private sectors, with over £2.9 billion planned over the next three years for the Oxford Street district alone.


There are early signs of increasing activity in institutional property investment markets, although, in our locations, private owners remain reluctant to sell assets which, in common with our portfolio, offer both security and potential for income and value growth.     


Current trading


Traditionally, the period leading up to and throughout Christmas and New Year has always seen the highest footfall and busiest trading across the West End, and this year has been no exception. The huge numbers who visit are drawn by an experience which encompasses not just world-class shopping but the wide choice of food and beverage options, theatres, cinemas, galleries and museums, complemented by a lively festive atmosphere. Early data indicates that generally our occupiers, particularly F&B businesses, have seen turnover growth over the period, in contrast to reports of static or declining revenue and footfall nationally.


Structural changes in spending patterns and cost pressures continue to adversely affect consumer-facing businesses, particularly those exposed to UK locations outside of the West End. Whilst the West End is not immune from continuing national headwinds and uncertainties, its broad-based economy, international status and appeal, gives it a considerable degree of insulation.


The long-term, holistic and innovative curation of our high footfall areas provides tenants with the platform for prosperous trading. A key aspect of our strategy has always been careful tenant selection, choosing interesting concepts and brands over predictable chains and formats. Consequently, our exposure to national retail and restaurant restructurings and failures continues to be limited, and where space is handed back, we are taking the opportunity to reconfigure and repurpose space to meet emerging trends in occupier demand, enhancing long-term income prospects.


Leasing and occupancy


Over the period, occupier demand has remained stable across our locations and for all our uses. During the three months to 31 December 2019, we concluded lettings, lease renewals and rent reviews with a rental value of £8.0 million, achieving rents at or above ERVs at 30 September 2019.


EPRA vacancy decreased by 0.1% to 3.6% of portfolio ERV over the three months to 31 December 2019.


% of total ERV







Central Cross





Under offer







Underlying vacancy





Under offer











Area (000 sq. ft.)




·   Central Cross

One shop (ERV: £0.3 million) now remains available.

·   Underlying vacancy

At 31 December 2019, available-to-let vacancy totalled £3.1 million, representing 2.1% of ERV. This comprised two cafés (ERV £0.2 million), five large and eight small shops (combined ERV: £2.1 million), 13,700 sq. ft. of office space (ERV: £0.8 million) and two apartments.

Space with a rental value of £2.0 million (1.3% of ERV) was under offer. This included five restaurants and cafés (ERV: £0.9 million), five shops (ERV: £0.9 million), 1,200 sq. ft. of offices (ERV: £0.1 million) and four apartments.

Asset management


At 31 December 2019, space held for, or under, refurbishment in the wholly-owned portfolio extended to 211,000 sq. ft., and represented 10.3% of total ERV.


% of total ERV







72 Broadwick Street












Other schemes







Area (000 sq. ft.)




·   72 Broadwick Street, Carnaby

As announced in December 2019, we have entered into an agreement to let 32,000 sq. ft. of space to American fitness and lifestyle brand, Equinox, representing almost half of the scheme's 66,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. It is expected the space will be handed over to Equinox for fitting out by the end of 2020.

There is encouraging interest in the remaining commercial accommodation, which will complete in phases between autumn 2020 and spring 2021. In addition, the scheme will deliver 15 new apartments across 14,000 sq. ft., which are expected to be available to let in spring 2021. 

·   Other schemes

At 31 December 2019, we had 49 other schemes underway, extending to 131,000 sq. ft. and representing 6.2% of portfolio ERV.

We anticipate that projects with an ERV of c. £3.5 million will complete in the coming quarter and, as previously advised, these will increase EPRA vacancy at 31 March 2020, but, once let, will provide a useful contribution to income and earnings from the next financial year.

Longmartin joint venture

In this section, all figures represent our 50% share of the Longmartin joint venture.

At 31 December 2019, the ERV of Longmartin's available vacant space was £0.9 million, of which £0.7 million related to recently completed schemes, including a prominent flagship on the corner of Long Acre and Upper St Martin's Lane and three restaurants on the north side of St Martin's Courtyard.

Space under refurbishment comprised two large shops on Long Acre (combined ERV: £0.6 million) which are being reconfigured, having secured planning consent to reinstate office use on the first floor.

Elizabeth Line

Crossrail recently announced it now expects to open the central section of the Elizabeth Line, between Paddington and Abbey Wood, in summer 2021, earlier than previously anticipated, although still subject to satisfactory completion of extensive testing. A full service across the whole route is planned for mid-2022. Bringing an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of the West End, this new railway is expected to increase visits and spending whilst materially changing footfall patterns, which we expect will be beneficial to our portfolio over the long term.

Notes for Editors


Shaftesbury is a Real Estate Investment Trust which invests exclusively in the liveliest parts of London's West End. Focused on food, beverage, retail and leisure, our portfolio is clustered mainly in Carnaby, Seven Dials and Chinatown, but also includes substantial ownerships in East and West Covent Garden, Soho and Fitzrovia.


Extending to 15.2 acres, the portfolio comprises 607 restaurants, cafés, pubs and shops, extending to 1.1 million sq. ft., 0.4 million sq. ft. of offices and 610 apartments. All our properties are close to the main West End Underground stations, which currently handle more than 225m passengers p.a., and within ten minutes' walk of the two West End transport hubs for the Elizabeth Line, at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street, which long-term projections indicate could be handling 200 million passengers annually.


In addition, we have a 50% interest in the Longmartin joint venture, which has a long leasehold interest, extending to 1.9 acres, in St Martin's Courtyard in Covent Garden.


Our purpose is to curate vibrant and thriving villages in the heart of London's West End. Our proven management strategy is to create and foster distinctive, attractive and prosperous locations. We have an experienced management team focused on delivering our long-term strategic objectives, ultimately to deliver a positive, long-lasting contribution to the West End. We have a strong balance sheet with conservative leverage.


Forward-looking statements

This document, the latest Annual Report and Shaftesbury's website may contain certain "forward-looking statements" with respect to Shaftesbury PLC (the Company) and the Group's financial condition, results of its operations and business, and certain plans, strategy, objectives, goals and expectations with respect to these items and the economies and markets in which the Group operates. Forward-looking statements are sometimes, but not always, identified by their use of a date in the future or such words as "anticipates", "aims", "due", "could", "may", "should", "expects", "believes", "intends", "plans", "targets", "goal" or "estimates" or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology.


Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. By their very nature forward-looking statements are inherently unpredictable, speculative and involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. Many of these assumptions, risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond the Group's ability to control or estimate precisely. There are a number of such factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.


Any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, Shaftesbury PLC speak only as of the date they are made and no representation or warranty is given in relation to them, including as to their completeness or accuracy or the basis on which they were prepared. Except as required by its legal or statutory obligations, Shaftesbury PLC does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect any changes in its expectations with regard thereto or any changes in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.


Information contained in this document relating to Shaftesbury PLC or its share price, or the yield on its shares, should not be relied upon as an indicator of future performance. Nothing contained in this document, the latest Annual Report or Shaftesbury's website should be construed as a profit forecast or an invitation to deal in the securities of the Company.




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