Robert Noel also warns of “subdued” occupier demand

Nova at night

Land Securities’ chief executive Robert Noel has cautioned over continued business uncertainty following the EU referendum.

“We expect business uncertainty to persist until there is more clarity on both the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. This process may take some time,” he said ahead of the developer’s annual general meeting today.

“Demand from occupiers is likely to be subdued until confidence returns and this may have an impact on rental values.”

Noel insisted that Land Securities was still in an “excellent position” and the company’s strong cash flow and undrawn on banking facilities mean it is “well prepared for future asset purchases”.

Earlier this year the office and retail developer reported a drop in pre-tax profit to £1.34bn for the year to March 2016, down from £2.4bn last year. The firm attributed the drop to valuation increases failing to match the sharp increases of the previous year.

The firm also confirmed it would continue to keep its £390m plans to extend Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow on ice following a timetable clash with Network Rail’s delivery of Edinburgh Glasgow improvement programme (EGIP) at the adjacent Queen Street Station.

Land Securities added that while it continued to work on plans to improve the retail, leisure and food offer at the centre though they are unlikely to be at the scale previously envisaged.

The developer also reported that it expected to start on site at the mixed-use Selly Oak scheme in Birmingham in the autumn, while planning approval had been recieved for the 196,000 ft2 Nova East at its major scheme Nova in Victoria London.