Commercial London offices boost GPE results
The commercial London offices in Great Portland Estates's (GPE's) portfolio have helped boost the total value of its assets.

In the three months to December 31st 2011, the value of its portfolio climbed by 10.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2010 and had increased by 2.6 per cent on the previous quarter.

One of its biggest acquisitions during the final quarter of last year was the joint purchase of 200 and 214 Gray's Inn Road, WC1, which was bought for £132.7 million, with GPE paying out £66.4 million of the total amount and The BP Pension Fund covering the remainder.

GPE also commenced the development of 237,000 sq ft of commercial London offices at 240 Blackfriars Road, SE1, in January after UBM agreed to pre-let space in the building.

Chief executive of GPE Toby Courtauld said commercial property investments in London have managed to hold up relatively well compared to the wider economic conditions in the UK.

"With low vacancy rates and a scarcity of debt finance keeping the lid on new development starts, we expect the impending shortage of new supply will strongly favour London landlords once sustainable economic growth returns," he asserted.

During 2011's final quarter, the commercial property organisation also contracted to sell 22 properties for more than £60 million.

West End offices proved to be one of the biggest drivers behind the increase in value of GPE's portfolio, with rental values of such assets 1.5 per cent up on the previous three-month period. The value of this segment also increased by 1.6 per cent.

In comparison, the rental values of Southwark and City offices lifted by 0.3 per cent, the report noted.

Following the news, GPE had climbed up the FTSE All-Share this morning (February 3rd), boosting its share price by 0.69 per cent as of 08:15 GMT. This represents a 2.50-point lift on yesterday's close.

Posted by David Hudek

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