Covent Garden. Picture: Supplied
Covent Garden. Picture: Supplied

Capital & Counties (Capco) on Tuesday reinstated its dividend in a signal by the property investment and development company that it could be over the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Capco, which was spun out of the late businessman and philanthropist Donald Gordon’s Liberty International, owns the iconic UK retail development Covent Garden.

The property group proposed an interim dividend of 0.5 pence per share as net rental income from continuing operations rose by £3.1m to £21.1m in the six months to end-June, driven mainly by a lower bad debt charge.

However, the value of Covent Garden declined 5% to £1.7bn on a like-for-like basis.

“Income collection continues to be impacted by the limited ability for the majority of our customers to trade for much of the first half of the year. Overall, 61% of rent has been collected for the first six months of the year,” Capco said in a statement.

The company also owns 50% of the Lillie Square joint venture, a one-million square foot residential development in west London. The property's valuation shrank 7.9% to £106m on a like-for-like basis.

It also has a 25.2% stake in Shaftesbury, the UK real estate investment trust that owns 600 buildings around London’s West End.

Capco shares were down 2.65% to R34.56 in early afternoon trade on the JSE, valuing the company at about R30bn.

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