Howard de Walden hails post Covid recovery, but property portfolio value slips

Howard de Walden Estate owns large parts of London’s Marylebone (Howard de Walden)
Howard de Walden Estate owns large parts of London’s Marylebone (Howard de Walden)

The Howard de Walden Estate, which owns swathes of Marylebone, has said demand for shops and Harley Street medical buildings is “often” outstripping supply although that has not been enough to stop the property portfolio value slipping.

Chief executive Mark Kildea said after two years of pandemic disruption, the 12 months to March 2023 was a period of “continued recovery” at the company.

The estate has been under the Howard de Walden family’s control since 1879 and today comprises over 800 properties run by a management team.

A dividend of £50 million was paid to shareholders, up from £40 million, following strong performances across all of the landlord’s sectors, which also include residential and offices.

Areas that saw good growth included retail and hospitality, with rental income up 7.5%. Deals were agreed such as St. John picking Marylebone Lane for its third restaurant and Paris-based footwear firm Bobbies opening a store.

In addition, occupancy levels across healthcare, which accounts for around 40% of group income, are at 98%. The landlord added that available space is largely under offer or under development.

Total group rental income increased 9.2% to £147.8 million as the estate benefited from not having any Covid-19 lockdowns. Revenue profit before tax, which strips out the impact of real estate revaluations, improved 16.7% to £74.9 million.

However, a statutory pre-tax headline loss of £102.3 million was recorded, compared to a £199.8 million profit a year earlier.

That was due to the value of the property portfolio declining 4.3% on a like for like basis to £4.4 billion. Higher interest rates caused yields to rise resulting in price declines for the office and healthcare arms.

Kildea said: “Our efforts and strategy remain focused on growing long-term sustainable profits and meeting our sustainability requirements. We are confident that we are well positioned to meet these challenges, with significant financial capacity, high occupancy levels and a dedicated and motivated workforce in a unique and desirable part of London.”