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Property boost after British Land sees 8.2pc rise in its portfolio

British Land said its entire property portfolio rose 8.2 per cent in value to £7.9 billion in the three months to 31 December.

Britain’s second largest developer reported a regulatory profit of £611 million for the quarter, significantly up on the £1.6 billion loss in the same quarter last year.

British Land it would shortly be submitting planning applications for the “substantial refurbishment of 4 & 6 Broadgate in London” which would be completed by early 2013.

In addition, the developer is actively reviewing some 750,000 sq ft of retail park extensions.

The value of its retail portfolio, which includes Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, rose 8.4 per cent in the three months to £5.25 billion while its offices, largely in the City of London, including Broadgate, and the West End rose by 8.2 per cent to £2.46 billion.

British Land chief executive Chris Grigg said: “The early signs of recovery seen in the second quarter extended right across our portfolio during the last three months of 2009.”

He added: “During the quarter we commenced the Broadgate JV with Blackstone, an important part of our long-term plan to re-balance the portfolio. We are investing in high quality opportunities such as Surrey Quays, where we can add considerable value, and we expect further attractive assets to emerge over the next 18 months.”

Rental income has been weak in the property sector, but British Land managed to grow its like for like rental income by 1.4 per cent in the quarter against a year ago, when the property recession was at its height.

Mr Grigg said the rental values from City of London offices were continuing to fall in the period but at a slower rate of 1.2 per cent, making an 11.4 per cent fall in rent over the nine months.

Rents from West End offices were flat in the period, making a 12.5 per cent fall over nine months.