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THE BRITISH LAND COMPANY PLC

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London office market undergoes makeover to woo post-pandemic workforce: Deloitte

05/17/2021 | 07:32am EDT
FILE PHOTO: A worker arrives at his office in the Canary Wharf business district in London

(Reuters) - Developers in London are revamping office spaces to suit the post-pandemic workforce, a survey showed on Monday, as weakening demand for workspaces poses a major concern in one of the world's biggest financial hubs.

New construction starts have jumped by a fifth in the six months ended March to 3.1 million square feet, Deloitte's London Office Crane Survey showed, with 56% of the pipeline expected to involve an extensive upgrade of existing office stock.

Lockdowns since early last year have forced millions of people to work from home, but easing restrictions are driving companies to chart a return with less hot desking, more room and better health regulations.

"Occupiers' needs are shifting and buildings that meet their ESG principles while taking into account the welfare of their people are top of mind. Grade A, well-connected and eco-friendly office spaces, designed to maximise the benefits of new ways of working, will be the most desirable," said Mike Cracknell, director in real estate at Deloitte.

The survey showed 4.5 million square feet of development has been delivered between October 2020 and March 2021, the highest level of completions in 18 years. In a sign of less speculative building, 59% of that was pre-let.

The survey also showed that the share of Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) pre-lets in all space under construction increased to 40%, reaffirming the importance of the TMT sector in the London leasing market.

Still, many companies have embraced work-from-home as a cost effective and flexible option that is here to stay, hurting demand for work spaces in London.

The city's developers anticipate new working patterns to reduce office demand on average by 10% to 15% in terms of square footage.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CRANE CO. 5.44% 96.99 Delayed Quote.18.89%
GREAT PORTLAND ESTATES PLC -0.07% 749 Delayed Quote.12.13%
IWG PLC 0.26% 312.9 Delayed Quote.-9.09%
LAND SECURITIES GROUP PLC -0.06% 699 Delayed Quote.3.74%
THE BRITISH LAND COMPANY PLC -0.59% 506 Delayed Quote.4.05%
WORKSPACE GROUP PLC 0.65% 849 Delayed Quote.9.69%
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Sales 2022 464 M 641 M 641 M
Net income 2022 -56,2 M -77,6 M -77,6 M
Net Debt 2022 2 697 M 3 726 M 3 726 M
P/E ratio 2022 145x
Yield 2022 3,56%
Capitalization 4 715 M 6 517 M 6 515 M
EV / Sales 2022 16,0x
EV / Sales 2023 15,9x
Nbr of Employees 613
Free-Float 98,4%
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Number of Analysts 17
Last Close Price 508,80 GBX
Average target price 509,81 GBX
Spread / Average Target 0,20%
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Simon Carter Chief Executive Officer & Director
David Walker Chief Financial Officer & Head-Investor Relations
Tim Score Chairman
Sally Jones Head-Strategy, Digital & Technology
Joff Sharpe Head-Operations
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