Business

Offshore wind and London retail is giving Royals plenty of reasons to smile

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The Crown Estate, which is the Queens main source of income, has enjoyed another 12 months of rising returns despite what it described as a "relatively tough year".

A growing offshore wind portfolio and retail lettings in central London were the key drivers of a like-for-like four per cent income increase announced today, despite what it saw as volatile economic conditions and the threat of its retail occupiers falling off of the high street.

As the Royal Familys independent commercial property arm, The Crown Estate gives all of its profits to the Treasury, returning £329.4m to the public purse in the year leading up to 31 March, compared with £316.7m the year before.

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With prime commercial holdings including much of Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus, The Crown Estate has a property portfolio worth £13.3bn, and a capital value that rose above £14bn this year for the first time ever.

There were strong returns from West End retail with 800,000 square feet of lettings.

The Crown Estate said that threats of closure from its high street occupiers like House of Fraser only had a "marginal impact on business".

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Alison Nimmo, chief executive of The Crown Estate, said: "Our highly skilled team has delivered another great set of results this year, against a backdrop of a challenging and uncertain market."

Nimmo added: "This success has been built on a disciplined focus on creating high-quality service and experiences for our customers in the best locations, and an approach to business that looks beyond short-term volatility to deliver long term, sustainable outperformance."

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