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Helical bucks trend as London property valuations increase post-referendum

Property firm Helical has posted a 5.3 per cent increase in its London property portfolio value following the EU referendum.

In a trading update for the six months to 30 September 2016, the firm revealed that its London property portfolio was now worth £651m, up from £593m reported for the six months to 31 March 2016.

Helical also announced a pre-tax profit of £31.1m, down from £85.9m in the same period a year earlier, when the firm sold two major schemes for more than £120m.

This is in contrast to other property developers, some of whom have seen property values take a hit in the last six months.

British Land racked up a pre-tax loss of £205m after reporting 2.8 per cent drop in its portfolio valuation, while Great Portland Estates posted a £63m loss after its property values fell by 3.7 per cent.

Land Securities also reported a pre-tax loss of £95m as its asset values were cut by 1.8 per cent.

Helical has concentrated its London property portfolio in two areas of the city - one around Farringdon, Shoreditch and Aldgate; and in West London around Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush and Chiswick.

Chief executive Gerald Kaye said these locations would continue to see robust demand from occupiers.

“Looking ahead, the UK faces a continued period of uncertainty as it seeks its place in a post Brexit world,” he said.

“However, I believe it will remain resilient and London will continue to be a world city attracting people, businesses and investors.”

Schemes under construction in the city include the second phase of the Bower, a £250m mixed-use scheme, which Skanska is building after Helical and Sisk - which built phase one - were unable to agree terms.

Helical announced that it has pre-let six floors of the project, which is due to complete in June 2018, to flexible working firm WeWork.

The property developer also confirmed that it had agreed a finance package for the final phase of its residential development at Bart’s Square. The first phase of the scheme, worth £91m, is currently being built by Carillion, with completion set for 2017.

Regionally, Helical saw the value of its property portfolio fall to £408m, down from £460m six months earlier, after the sale of two distribution warehouses, five retail asses and two regional offices for a total of £56m.

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