West End landlord Shaftesbury has reported a loss after tax of £699.5m for the year to 30 September 2020 as the pandemic has a “significant impact” on the business.

In the six months to the end of September, the group collected 53% of contracted rents, with 34% deferred or waived and 13% outstanding.

Net property income was down 24.2% to £74.3m (2019: £98.0m), with a 3.5% like-for-like decline in rental income, and charges for expected credit losses and impairments of £21.9m.

It moved permanently to monthly rents in advance for most commercial tenants from October 2020, and last month raised £307m in new capital following a share placing.

“Rarely in history has the world seen such widespread disruption to normal patterns of life,” said CEO Brian Bickell. “Only now are we seeing the first positive signs that conditions will begin to improve in the year ahead.

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on our performance, particularly during the second half of the financial year, depriving our hospitality and retail occupiers of footfall and trade and resulting in reduced rent collections, increased vacancy, reduced occupier demand and a fall in property valuations. Our key priority has been, and continues to be, supporting our occupiers through this period of disruption.

“The economies of London and the West End have a long history of structural resilience, having weathered many episodes of challenge and uncertainty.

“Although near-term challenges will be with us throughout 2021, I am confident we are well placed, both financially and operationally, to return to long-term prosperity and growth as the current global and local pandemic disruption recedes into history.”

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