(Bloomberg) -- Land Securities Group Plc achieved record office leasing in 2021 as demand for the best city center space bounced back after the lifting of most Covid restrictions.

The real estate investment trust signed 63 million pounds ($78 million) of office leases in the year through March at rents that were 4% ahead of their valuers’ expectations, according to a statement Tuesday. The landlord’s mall portfolio -- which has been blighted by plummeting rents and values in recent years -- also bounced back in the second half of the year, registering 1.7% capital growth.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted major corporations to re-examine their office needs after being forced to embrace flexible working during the height of restrictions. For many businesses that’s led to a desire to upgrade to newer, greener premises as they attempt to lure staff back, even if the overall amount of space they need is less. The trend has benefited developers building state-of-the-art new offices. 

The company is now looking at investing up to 3 billion pounds “in sustainable London offices and mixed-use development over the next five years,” Land Securities Chief Executive Officer Mark Allan said in the statement, as it looks to cash in on the trend. 

More from Land Securities earnings:

  • Pre-tax profit 875 million pounds, after a 1.4 billion pound loss in 2021
  • Basic earnings per share of 117.4 pence, compared to a 188.2 pence a share loss the previous year
  • The group’s net assets per share now stand at 1,070 pence, up from 975 pence a year earlier

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