Grosvenor Group profits decline amid global slowdown
The Duke of Westminster’s property empire Grosvenor Group has reported a dip in profit for 2018 against a background of global economic uncertainty.
However the company, which owns swathes of London’s upmarket Mayfair and Belgravia areas, said it had performed better than expected due to the global breadth of its estate.
Revenue profit dropped to £131 million, compared with £143.5 million in 2017.
Chief executive Mark Preston said: “Against a background of moderate global growth, our 2018 financial performance proved better than we had expected.
“This was again largely due to our international diversification, which has helped to even out regional variations in results over the past year and over the cycle.”
Dividends rose to almost £44.4 million, versus £42.3 million in the previous year. The payout goes to Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster, and his family.
Total return doubled to 5.5%, with 0.8% accounted for by the lower value of the pound.
Although historically known for its London holdings, Grosvenor Group has properties in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
The company cited Brexit, China’s slowing growth and jittery equities markets as signs of a weaker economic outlook.
“Looking ahead, after a remarkable near 10-year run of strong property returns, global markets have reached a mature stage in the cycle,” said Mr Preston. “As a result, we will have to work harder and cleverer to deliver returns anywhere near those we have seen in recent years.”
In the UK, the group has unveiled plans to triple the size of its strategic land business and build a portfolio of at least 30,000 homes in a bid to tackle the housing crisis.
In London, it will also invest £1 billion in commercial property and new public spaces to improve the West End.