Shaftesbury said it continued to experience strong demand from West End restaurants and other businesses in spite of signs of weakness in the broader real estate market. Financial Times, The Times

The company said rental levels between the start of October and the end of January had risen, underpinned by strong trading at restaurants and stores over Christmas and the new year.

The performance compared favourably with results so far this year from other property companies.

Shaftesbury said it wanted to capitalise on buoyant rental levels by re-letting vacant properties as soon as possible at higher rents.

The company also spent £16.2m on new investments in the period, including seven freeholds round Seven Dials in Covent Garden.

Shaftesbury said it had restructured much of its debt with hedging in place on £340m of debt at a weighted average rate of 5.2% for 15 years.

Shaftesbury shares dipped 1.5p to 557.5p on the news and trade at a 13% discount to its NAV.