Landsec returns to profit and announces major shift towards decarbonising its estate

MediaCityUK in Salford

UK’s largest commercial property firm, Land Securities Group, has swung to half-year profit.

The FTSE 100 company said pre-tax profits rose to £275m  for the six months to September 30, compared with a loss of £835m for the same period last year as the group recovers from the pandemic which battered its key central London-focused office portfolio.

It has since been refocusing its strategy away from London to the regions which has recently seen the group pay £190m for U+I, the developer behind the £1.4bn mixed-use Mayfield scheme in Manchester, in a bid to boost its pipeline of urban regeneration projects. 

It also announced it has acquired a 75% majority stake in MediaCity, the 37-acre media, digital and tech hub in Salford, for more than £425m as part of plans to invest in more mixed-use developments.

The developer has also committed to invest £135m on its existing portfolio to drive its transition to net zero.

The investment will be used for a series of initiatives to reduce Landsec’s carbon footprint and drive innovation and best practice across the wider industry. This includes retrofitting more solar PV, and replacing boilers with air source heat pumps and upgrading building management systems.

It is expected Landsec’s overall programme will see 24,000 tonnes of carbon emissions removed from Landsec’s operations.

CEO Mark Allan said: “We have used the last six months to drive our business forward, disposing of £250m of assets and progressing £616m of acquisitions that will accelerate our strategy and provide greater opportunities for growth.

“In focusing our strategy on shaping three distinct places – central London offices; major retail destinations; and mixed-use urban neighbourhoods – we are bringing renewed vigour to the business and creating value for all our stakeholders.

“One of the ways that we create value is by taking leadership positions on the issues that matter.

“Today, we are proud to set out a fully costed investment plan to transition our business towards net zero, ensuring that we deliver on our science-based target to reduce our carbon emissions by 70% by 2030. 

“Our actions over the last six months and throughout the pandemic have enabled us to significantly increase operational activity and we remain in a strong financial position. We look forward to demonstrating further progress over the coming months.”

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