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British Land hit by retail write-offs

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The property company British Land has written down the value of its property portfolio by £1.15 billion as it posts full-year results.

After the writedown the FTSE 100 company reported a pre-tax loss of £1.11 billion. Underlying profit fell by 10 per cent to £306 million, down from £340 million last year.

Across its entire portfolio — which includes the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield and the Broadgate office complex in the City of London — the company reported that net asset value, a benchmark for property companies, fell by 14.5 per cent to 774p, down from 905p a share last year. City analysts had forecast a fall to 809p a share.

British Land, which told shareholders in March that it had suspended future dividend payments, reported that 57 per cent of its retail tenants failed to pay their rent in April.

“This was already a difficult year for retailers, many of whom have been severely impacted by the lockdown and the early effects of the crisis were reflected in the value of our retail portfolio,” said Chris Grigg, chief executive, who is thought to have postponed plans to stand down after a decade running the business to steer it through the crisis.




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