Land Securities PLC (LON:LAND) has raised its dividend in a vote of confidence about the UK’s recovery even though annual losses hit £1.4bn.
“We are now entering the recovery phase. Government action to support the economy was swift and the speed of the ongoing vaccination programme impressive,” said Mark Allan chief executive.
“As a result, there is the real prospect of a strong consumption-led recovery across the remainder of 2021 and 2022.”
The dividend was the only thing that went up in the results for the year to end-March 2021, with a £1.64bn property write-down pushing the FTSE 100 giant into the red for a second year running with a loss of £1.39bn (2020:£837mln).
Net rental income over the year dropped by 30% to £165mln while net asset value per share fell 17% to 985p.
Allan said the results clearly reflected the challenges caused by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, but things had started to improve.
London office property is seeing a lot of investor interest, while its shopping centres had seen good footfall since the 12 April reopening with sales up 5% on 2019.
More than 50 retail tenants had also agreed new leases or opened new stores during the year, he added.
The dividend for the year is 27p (23.2p), while cash and available facilities totalled £1.6bn.