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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  Land Securities Group plc    LAND   GB0031809436

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London's Walkie-Talkie tower to open two-thirds full

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07/17/2013 | 10:32am CET

The Walkie-Talkie skyscraper in London's financial district should be two-thirds let by the time it opens next year as companies revive moving plans shelved during the financial crisis, developer Land Securities (>> Land Securities Group plc) said.

The Walkie-Talkie skyscraper in London's financial district should be two-thirds let by the time it opens next year as companies revive moving plans shelved during the financial crisis, developer Land Securities (>> Land Securities Group plc) said.

The tower, located in the City of London's insurance neighbourhood, is being co-developed with Canary Wharf Group (>> Songbird Estates plc) and currently has pre-letting deals for 52 percent of its floor area, Britain's largest listed developer said in a trading update on Wednesday.

Land Securities is betting that a wave of companies will have to move in the next few years due to lease expires. A supply squeeze due to low levels of construction during the financial crisis will limit their choices.

The group has been selling older properties to fund development of new London office blocks without letting deals in place. It has announced the start of more than one billion pounds of London schemes this year with no lettings in place.

"This was never predicated on a bull market but the fact there is not enough of the right stuff being built," Chief Executive Rob Noel told Reuters.

The projects include the 897,000 square feet Nova Victoria scheme of offices, shops and apartments being developed with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Land Securities sold 152.6 million pounds ($231 million) of property in the three months to the end of June and signed 5.5 million pounds of development lettings, it said in a statement.

The company, which also owns the landmark Piccadilly lights site in London, said a more efficient use of space in its newer buildings meant companies needed less floor space per worker. This resulted in higher rents per square foot, but not higher overall costs.

Less corridor space and so-called break-out areas rather than meeting room space in the Walkie-Talkie is one way costs are kept down. It means companies need eight square metres per worker rather than ten, Noel said.

"Once that light bulb goes on we're in business."

($1 = 0.6613 British pounds)

(Reporting by Tom Bill. Editing by Jane Merriman)

By Tom Bill

Stocks treated in this article : Songbird Estates plc, Land Securities Group plc
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Financials ( GBP)
Sales 2017 603 M
EBIT 2017 509 M
Net income 2017 -364 M
Debt 2017 2 980 M
Yield 2017 3,68%
P/E ratio 2017 -
P/E ratio 2018
EV / Sales 2017 18,2x
EV / Sales 2018 17,5x
Capitalization 8 018 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 21
Average target price 11,1  GBP
Spread / Average Target 9,8%
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NameTitle
Robert Montaque Noel Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Dame Alison J. Carnwath Chairman
Martin Frederick Greenslade Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Kevin O'Byrne Independent Non-Executive Director
Christopher John Bartram Independent Non-Executive Director
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