West End landlord, Shaftesbury, has seen the value of its portfolio grow 2% to £3.45bn in the six months to 31 March.

Its estimated rental value increased by £3.5m to £142.2m.

Net property income rose 4% to £43.8m and profit after tax was up 27.8% to £102.4m.

During the period, Shaftesbury acquired five properties at a total cost of £28.1m. These comprised two restaurants, two shops, one pub and 3,700 sq. ft. of office space, of which 2,300 sq. ft. has planning consent for residential use. Three of these buildings were acquired with vacant possession.

During the period, Shaftesbury completed leasing transactions in its leisure portfolio with a rental value of £4.5m, of which rent reviews accounted for £3.4m.

The company described its 282 restaurants, cafés and pubs as important drivers of footfall and trading. It said the independent sector remained particularly active, reflecting the demand from diners to experience high quality, creative and accessible new food concepts, often then sharing their experiences on social media.

The group warned that availability of space remained constrained by planning policies, which it said restricted large-scale development in its locations and discouraged conversion of existing space to leisure uses. The company said the reluctance of operators to relinquish their valuable space other than for significant premiums and limited supply of space meant “competition for any of our available space is intense and vacancy rates are low”.