Crown Estate Has Record Profit on $12.3 Billion Valuation

The Crown Estate, the property company that generates income for Queen Elizabeth II, reported record annual earnings as the value of its real estate exceeded 8 billion pounds ($12.3 billion) for the first time.

Profit increased 5 percent to 252.6 million pounds for the 12 months ended March 31, the London-based company said in a statement today. The value of the Crown Estate’s property assets rose 7.2 percent to 8.1 billion pounds.

Crown Estate is focused on “moving the organization from a more traditional landed estate into one of active asset management,” Chief Executive Officer Alison Nimmo said by phone yesterday. “One of a number of ways of doing that is through joint ventures.”

The company completed the 100 million-pound redevelopment of St. James’s Gateway this year in a joint venture with Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan. It was the second part of a 500 million-pound revival of the St. James’s area of London, which vies with Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive office market.

Crown Estate oversees real estate surrendered in 1760 by the monarchy in exchange for annual payments. While the Crown Estate is one of Queen Elizabeth II’s “hereditary possessions,” she doesn’t own the company as private property. The U.K. treasury collects its earnings and provides her with a percentage.

The value of the company’s energy and infrastructure assets rose 8.2 percent to 564 million pounds and delivered total returns of 10.6 percent, according to the statement. The rural and coastal portfolio increased in value by 3.2 percent to 1.4 billion pounds and delivered total returns of 13.3 percent.

As well as the Regent Street shops, the Crown Estate also owns shopping centers, golf courses, Ascot racecourse, parks, farms, and almost all the U.K.’s seabed, according to documents posted on its website.