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The value of British Land’s real estate portfolio fell 10% as of March 31, with Covid-19 compounding the damage already caused by problems in the retail sector.

The real estate development group recorded a loss before tax of £ 1.11 billion, up from the loss of £ 320 million it had recorded a year earlier. Its underlying profit was more stable, dropping by 10% from £ 340m to £ 206m.

The valuation of its portfolio fell from 12.3 billion pounds to 11.2 billion pounds, a drop of 10.1 pc, while its total turnover fell from 904 million to 613 million pounds. Its net asset value per share decreased by 14.5%.

Chris Grigg, its chief executive, said:

During the year, we still made good operational and strategic progress, which puts us in a good position today. We continued to rent well in London and the developments underway are almost complete and almost complete, blocking future rents of £ 54 million. We have a resolution to grant planning to Canada Water and opportunities along our pipeline that we can advance when the time comes.

This has already been a difficult year for retailers, many of whom have been severely affected by the foreclosure, and the first effects of the crisis have been reflected in the value of our retail portfolio.

Grigg warned that British Land expects the office market to be “cautious” in the short term as many companies continue to work from home, but added: “We continue to do virtual tours and are encouraged by the negotiations we have ”.

“Our financial situation is solid with low debt, a large margin of guarantee and access to £ 1.3 billion of unused resources, so we are well positioned to meet today’s challenges and succeed in the long run.” term, “he said.

British Land said it had so far collected 68% of the rent originally due for the March quarter, adding that “the balance due comes mainly from strong retailers.”

Denese Newton of Stifel said the numbers were broadly in line with expectations, although the net asset value was lower than expected. She added: “We think there is reason to be positive about the long-term outlook for the business,” highlighting the change in portfolio from British Land to London.

Tom Musson of Liberum warned that the group is still facing a difficult path, writing: “It is too early to predict the results with certainty, but we expect an increase in vacancies to come, particularly in the trade of retail and leisure. “



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