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LONDON-Canary Wharf – the property company that owns the Docklands development of the same name – unveiled a sparkling set of results for the year to 30 June 2001 today. Net asset value rose 31% from £5.31 ($7.80) to £6.95 ($10.21) per share.

Turnover rose 39.2% from £114.4 million to £159.2 million but profit fell from £54.1 million ($79.5 million) to £42.5 million ($62.5 million).

Reflecting the strength of demand for offices in the massive Docklands complex, at the year end the company did not have a single void in its 4.4 million sf investment portfolio. And it had another 7.1 million sf under construction in 12 buildings. Of this total only 600,000 sf was not pre-let, pre-sold or under option.

During the year, Morgan Stanley pre-leased 516,000sf; Clifford Chance took 785,000 sf; Northern Trust Company 134,000 sf; The McGraw Hill Companies 310,000 sf; CSFB 516,600 sf and Lehman Brothers one million sf. These deals meant that virtually all of the original 13.5 million sf Canary Wharf masterplan has been fulfilled.

However, to ensure a future supply of offices, Canary Wharf bought back 4.5 acres of Thames-side land from a joint venture partner. The site has planning permission for approximately one million sf of development. And it also bought The group acquired a 6.7 acre site immediately to the north of Canary Wharf, which has planning permission for approximately 1.9 million sf of development. And chief executive George Iacobescu said more acquisitions are planned. ‘We are now also taking strategic steps to enlarge the Canary Wharf district, which we anticipate will be capable of expanding our aggregate square footage by almost 50%,’ he said.

Future development is likely to be on a pre-leased basis only. Until now, Canary Wharf has always had one speculative building under construction at any one time. But Iacobescu said: ‘Whilst remaining positive about our prospects, we recognise the current economic climate and are reviewing our strategy towards speculative buildings. It is not our intention to start any further speculative buildings before the market outlook becomes clearer.’

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