// British Land sees £599 million wiped off retail property value
// Pre-tax profits fall £158 million for property giant
// CEO: “We expect markets to remain uneven”
British Land reported a drop in pre-tax profits for its first half, as its its portfolio value also declined.
Underlying pre-tax profits fell to £158 million from £169 million in the six months to the end of September for the property giant.
Revenue dropped 34 per cent to £328 million with the value of British Land’s portfolio falling 4.3 per cent.
Of that figure, the value of the company’s retail properties fell 10.7 per cent, equivalent to a loss of £599 million, down to £4.8 billion in total.
The drop meant a pre-tax loss of £440 million overall for British Land, which owns Meadowhall in Sheffield and the Broadgate Estate in London.
“In this context, domestic and overseas buyers have started to recognise the value opportunity in the sector, however there remains a gap in pricing expectations where vendors are well positioned,” said British Land.
“Looking forward, we expect our markets to remain uneven, but we have kept debt levels low, our balance sheet is strong and flexible and we have a broad spread of expertise across our business. We expect retail to remain challenging, so we’ll focus on driving operational performance and maintaining occupancy,” said chief executive Chris Grigg.
“We see early signs that some liquidity may be returning to parts of the market, and our focus will remain on thoughtfully progressing our strategy to reduce exposure. In London, we expect the market to remain good, with supply relatively constrained and high quality space, in well-connected, vibrant parts of town continuing to attract demand from a range of businesses,” Grigg added.