Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- British Land Co., the U.K.’s second- largest real estate investment trust, said second-quarter earnings before items rose 6.5 percent after the company made acquisitions and leased more space to retailers at higher rents.
Profit excluding changes in asset values and one-time items increased to 66 million pounds ($105 million), or 7.4 pence a share, in the three months through September, from 62 million pounds, or 7.1 pence, a year earlier, the London-based company said in a statement today. Net asset value rose to 591 pence a share from 583 pence three months earlier.
Chief Executive Officer Chris Grigg plans projects that will add 2.2 million square feet (204,000 square meters) of office space through 2014 in central London, where a shortage of Grade A space is driving up rents. The average lease length of British Land’s real estate, two thirds of which is retail- related, was 11.7 years and vacancies were 2.2 percent at the end of September.
The company has completed the leasing agreement with Aon Corp. for 191,000 square feet (17,744 square meters) for its Leadenhall Building skyscraper project in the City of London financial district, it said in a separate statement. The project is nicknamed the Cheesegrater because of its shape.
British Land fell 11 percent in London trading in the past three months, compared with an average 9.5 percent decline for the 11 members of the FTSE 350 Real Estate Investment Trust Index.
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