Capco cheers West End recovery in final update before mega merger with Shaftesbury
The boss of Capital & Counties has said “momentum is really building” in West End footfall recovery and consumer spend, in the Covent Garden landlord’s final results before a huge £5 billion merger with Shaftesbury.
Ian Hawksworth said: “There is positive momentum across the Covent Garden estate with strong demand, high occupancy levels and rental growth across all uses which has continued into 2023.”
He pointed to 71 new leases and renewals agreed last year. Deals include Argentinian restaurant Gaucho opening on James Street and clothing group Uniqlo launching a new flagship store in the Spring.
The update comes just ahead of Capco’s merger with Shaftesbury, announced last year, completing to create Shaftesbury Capital.
The new larger business will own around 670 buildings including in Covent Garden and parts of Chinatown and Carnaby Street.
FTSE 250 firm Capco’s property portfolio value was flat at £1.8 billion in 2022, but underlying net rental income increased to £57.2 million from £48.9 million.
Underlying profits improved, but it fell into the red with a total £211.8 million loss from a £34.8 million profit, which was largely due to a decline in Shaftesbury share prices. Capco had a 25% stake in its rival before the merger was announced.