Grosvenor, the property giant owned by the Duke of Westminster, jumped back to a profit last year as returning shoppers, tourists and office workers helped drive its recovery.
The company, which also has investments in food and agriculture tech, reported a £437.5 million pre-tax profit in 2021 after tumbling to a £322.8 million loss in the previous year.
Grosvenor said a partial recovery in economic conditions and loosening of pandemic restrictions pushed its property revenues higher.
The group revealed that revenue profit, the company’s preferred metric, for its city centre property activities more than doubled to £99.7 million for the year.
Mark Preston, chief executive of the business, said: “Despite ongoing restrictions and lockdowns remaining a feature across our markets, decisive action in response, coupled with an improving economic environment, helped us achieve a significantly improved financial performance compared to the previous year.
“This reignited activity went hand in hand with a continued commitment to supporting and finding new ways to help our tenants, get closer to our customers, and to assist the wider communities of which we are a part.”
Grosvenor Group owns about 300 acres of land in Mayfair and Belgravia, as well as major city centre developments such as Liverpool’s ONE shopping centre.
As a result of the improvement in performance, the group returned its dividend for the duke and his family to levels from before the pandemic, with the board making a £47.8 million payout last year.
The boss highlighted that the firm is investing more internationally as it seeks to diversify its portfolio to keep it more robust.
Mr Preston added: “While we are optimistic about the western world’s economic rebound from the pandemic, the economic threats posed by the war in Ukraine, high inflation, high levels of debt and slowing growth in China make us cautious about the general outlook.”
It comes days after the Duke of Westminster and his family featured in 13th place in the Sunday Times Rich List of the UK’s wealthiest people.