Shaftesbury, the West End landlord, is supporting tenants with rent deferral, to help ease their short-term cash flow issues so they can resume trading once the current restrictions are lifted.

The group said supporting its occupiers through the situation was the “right thing to do” and the best way to preserve the long-term value and prospects of portfolio.

In an trading update, Shaftesbury said it paused all non-essential expenditure, new schemes and acquisitions, amid the coronavirus crisis.

After capital and acquisition commitments, the group has total available liquidity of around £170m.

Full year earnings are now expected to be significantly below current market expectations.

No dividend will be declared at the half year.

Brian Bickell, CEO, said: “We are committed to supporting our occupiers and residents through this period of unprecedented upheaval in normal patterns of life and business activity. The ability of our commercial tenants to resume trading when current restrictions begin to be relaxed is our priority.

“The global appeal and resilience of the West End and our locations, together with our initiatives in recent years to ensure our finances are robust, underpin the intrinsic worth of our impossible-to-replicate portfolio and the long-term value of our business.”

The group welcomed the unprecedented package of financial support from the Government as helpful for many of occupiers.

Shaftesbury said: “We are in direct contact with our commercial occupiers, and, where they are unable to meet their lease obligations in the short term, we will continue to support them with solutions, including rent deferral, to help them manage their cash flows so they are in a position to resume trading once the current restrictions are lifted.”