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Trading statements

British Land plans £300m share buy-back

18 July 2017 09:37

British Land intends to allocate up to £300m of capital to a share buy-back during the current financial year against a backdrop of continuing strong demand in its investment markets.

The buy-back programme was announced ahead of today's annual general meeting.

British Land said the board regularly reviewed capital allocation to optimise long-term returns for shareholders.

It said that since the year end, the company had continued to sell into a strong investment market.

But it added: "Currently, opportunities to purchase at attractive returns are more limited, and investment in the company's shares at the prevailing discount offered better value than further asset acquisitions.

"Since the start of the financial year, the company has achieved good disposal and leasing progress and continued to develop the pipeline of development opportunities that it has already created."

At the AGM today, the following overview of recent activity will be provided:

- Since the Full Year Results announcement in May, the sale of The Leadenhall Building for £575 million (BL share) has been completed, £135 million assets have been sold and a further £88 million are under offer - In total, 370,000 sq ft of lettings and renewals were made during the first quarter at 7.8% ahead of ERV - A further 870,000 sq ft of space is under offer or in advanced negotiations across British Land's three London campuses. This space under offer includes all 310,000 sq ft of office space at 1 Triton Square, Regent's Place, the plans for which have now been approved by the Mayor. The company expects to commit to this £200 million development in the next few weeks - At 1 Finsbury Avenue, part of the Broadgate Campus, work will start on the £35 million (BL share) refurbishment next month, adding retail, a new cinema and roof terrace to the building. Exclusive discussions regarding 78,000 sq ft of this improved space, representing 27% of the total available, are underway with technology company, Mimecast - As part of the first-phase roll out of Storey, the flexible workspace brand, the lease of 25,000 sq ft of space at 2 Finsbury Avenue has been agreed with Kingfisher Digital Chief executive Chris Grigg will tell the AGM: "This rolling buy-back programme reflects our commitment to seeking the best long-term returns for shareholders.

"We continue to see strong demand in the investment market, which makes opportunities to acquire new standing assets, at attractive returns, more limited than usual.

"With our shares trading at a substantial discount to NAV and providing a 5% dividend yield, allocating capital into a share buy-back represents a clear value opportunity.

"With substantial proceeds being realised from our disposals programme, we do not expect any material change in our loan to value ratio as a result of the share buy-back.

"We retain significant resources to develop the pipeline of development opportunities we have created and the flexibility to respond to any changes in market conditions."

At 9:37am: (LON:BLND) British Land Co PLC share price was +18.75p at 622.75p

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: BLND

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