- British Land reported Thursday that underlying profits fell by 2.6% to £380m in the year to the end of March.

The firm blamed the fall in profit on a loss of income from the £1.5bn of assets it sold over the past two years and lease expiries at properties that had gone into development. That was largely offset by strong leasing growth, like-for-like rental growth and financing activity, the firm said.

The firm let four times as much London office space as last year, and in retail it let or renewed over 1m sq ft of space, well ahead of ERV. This helped boost EPRA net asset value per share by 5.7% to 967p.

The value of Land Securities' portfolio rose 2.2% to £13.7bn on proportionally consolidated basis.

Net rental income declined by £34m to £576m after asset disposals, but the company said this was offset by leasing developments and like-for-like rental growth.

The group proposed a final dividend of 30.08p, which increased the dividend for the year by 3%.

The firm doubled its committed development pipeline to 1.6 million sq ft and kept speculative exposure low at 4.5%, generating an estimated future rent of £63m.

The firm said it expected demand for office space to remain firm supported by the tight supply of high quality new office space, while the retail market would be more challenging.

'In retail, market conditions are likely to remain challenging. In offices, demand for our space is healthy, with a range of businesses continuing to commit to London and the supply of high quality new space relatively constrained in the short term,' said Chris Grigg, Chief Executive.

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