Developer recovers from last year's £5.1bn loss and says £300m Walkie Talkie project is back on track

Developer Land Securities has revealed a swing to a £1bn profit compared with a £5.1bn loss this time last year in results for the year ended 31 March.

The group also revealed that it hoped to restart its £300m land mark project, 20 Fenchurch Street, otherwise known as the Walkie Talkie by the start of next year.

The 56-storey tower was approved in July 2007 after a public inquiry but the completion date was pushed back from 2011 to 2014 when the recession bit.

Land Securities’ portfolio rose 10.3% to £9.5bn in the year to 31 March. The group said in a statement that it has 110,000sq m of developments under way and a further 400,000sq m of development and refurbishment opportunities.

Net rental income fell 12.1% to £567m over the period, largely because of asset sales. It recommended a full-year dividend of 28p, in line with guidance.

Chief Executive Francis Salway said: “We are confident in our ability to deliver a substantial development pipeline into a supply constrained market in London, while maintaining a strong focus on growing revenue profit across the group.

“We maintain our view that property values will rise over the next five years but, with the likelihood of volatility in consumer spending and business investment, the path may not always be smooth.”