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Profits fall at Land Securities

LAND Securities, which has interests in several Scottish shopping centres including Glasgow's Buchanan Galleries, has seen half-year profits slump almost 10% due to lower rental income.

Group revenue dipped from £339 million to £303.6m in the six months to September 30.

The profit after stripping out changes in asset values and one-off items declined 9.8% from £159.3m to £143.7m.

At a pre-tax level, profits fell from £378.9m to £131.4m although the previous year's figure is inflated by a £172m surplus on the valuation of investment properties.

The number of like-for-like voids was down from 2.9% to 2.6% with retail dropping from 3.4% to 3.1% across the UK and the Scottish portfolio at 2.92%.

In London, voids fell from 2.4% to 2%.

Land Securities' other Scottish sites include The Centre and designer outlet in Livingston, Bon Accord and St Nicholas in Aberdeen and the Overgate in Dundee.

It is also developing 185 to 221 Buchanan Street in Glasgow which is due to open next year.

The Scottish retail void rate was slightly below the UK average at 2.92%.

Katherine Armstead, senior portfolio manager for Land Securities in Scotland, said the Scottish portfolio had avoided the worst affects of the administrations in the retail sector. She said: "The positive aspect for Scotland is apart from the JJB in Livingston we have managed to retain retailers like Game, Clinton Cards and La Senza

"We have a plan for every centre which is realistic and includes changing the size of the units, trying to introduce more leisure and food and beverage and introducing new brands as well.

"Voids are down and lease lengths are long and there is demand from successful retailers."

New retailers taking space included fashion firms Ness and USC, stationary brand Drewdle, Danish homewares business Tiger Stores and shoe company Crocs.

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