British Land looks to invest in more retail parks
We know UK retail parks were more popular venues to visit during lockdowns and British Land said Wednesday it’s “exploring further opportunities” to acquire high-quality and well-located standalone centres.
In an update ahead of its full-year results due 26 May, the commercial real estate giant noted that its retail parks had performed ahead of its other retail locations, such as shopping centres.
“We see a value opportunity in out of town retail, reflecting increased yields and a more stable occupational market, driven by affordability and stronger demand from retailers who recognise the important role that retail parks can play in supporting an omnichannel strategy”, it said.
As part of widening its retail park portfolio, British Land recently acquired the A1 Retail Park in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, for £49m. It also plans to acquire the remaining 22% interest in Hurcules Unit Trust, which operates 10 retail parks, in June at a gross asset value of around £150m.
Meanwhile, in an update of its overall performance, British Land noted that 79% of non-essential stores operations in England and Wales were now open as of 12 April. It also said total rent collected for FY21 is now standing at 82% (Retail 70%), and it's operating with £1.8 billion cash in the bank.
It also said it had gathered 76% of March's total rent collected to date with Retail at 54%, and that it “expect this to improve over coming weeks in line with previous quarters”.
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