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Monday, January 18, 2021

British Land to reinstate dividends as performance improves in Q2.

  • British Land to reinstate dividends as performance improves in Q2.
  • The property developer named Simon Carter as its new CEO.
  • British Land’s collection rate stood at 74% in the June quarter.

British Land Company plc (LON: BLND) expressed confidence on Friday that signs of recovery in tenant performance and rent collection were evident in the fiscal second quarter after months of disruptions due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has so far infected more than half a million people in the United Kingdom and caused over 42 thousand deaths.

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British Land closed more than 0.5% up on Friday. Including the price action, shares of the company are now 40% down year to date in the stock market. The COVID-19 restrictions had made it slide to a low of 315 per share in the first week of April. Trading stocks online is easier than you think. Here’s how you can buy shares online in 2020.

British Land named Simon Carter as its new CEO

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On the back of the improvement in Q2, British Land said it plans on reinstating dividend payments in the near future. The company had suspended payouts earlier this year to cushion the economic blow from the COVID-19 crisis. British Land named CFO Simon Carter as its new Chief Executive last month, to take on the role on 18th November as the current CEO Chris Grigg steps down.

The property development company said an interim dividend will be declared in November when it publishes its half-year financial report. Future dividends, it added, will not be paid quarterly but semiannually, at 80% of underlying EPS.

The British company boasted to have resumed operations at its countrywide retail assets, as of 29th September. It also revealed to have reopened 86% of its tenanted stores on Friday as the government eased COVID-19 restrictions in recent months. According to British land, retail sales and footfall were now only 10% and 16% down respectively as compared to the last year.

Collection rate stood at 74% in the June quarter

For the June quarter, the London-based company posted an improvement in collection rates to 74%, including 57% of rent collected from retail assets and 98% from offices. For September, collection rate stood at 69%.

British Land also expressed confidence in the strength of its balance sheet on Friday as it valued its cash and undrawn facilities at £1 billion. Refinancing, it added, was not required until 2024. In separate news from the UK, the LSE Group said it will sell Borsa Italiana to Euronext.

At the time of writing, British Land is valued at £3.51 billion.

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