British Land Reveals £404m Loss

British Land reveals £404m loss

The challenging retail market has caused British Land to suffer a £404m loss before tax for the six months to 30 September.

Its half-year results showed that the pre-tax losses had worsened significantly compared to the same period in 2018, which showed a pre-tax loss of £42m.

In the same period in 2017, British Land made a pre-tax profit of £238m, signifying a total loss of £646m before tax over the last three years.

British Land CEO Chris Grigg (pictured) said: “We expect retail to remain challenging, so we’ll focus on driving operational performance and maintaining occupancy.

“In a tough market, we have capitalised on opportunities to make retail sales, disposing of £236m of assets ahead of book value.”

Its portfolio valuation also suffered since the period last year, decreasing from £12.3bn to £11.7bn.

The CEO said that British Land has a broad spread of expertise across the business, which has kept debt levels low, and that he expects markets to remain uneven.

He added: “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.”

Underlying profit was also down for the developer, having fallen by £17m from £169m in 2018, to £152m this year.

Commenting on the results, director of the mixed-use architects firm Assael, Félicie Krikler, said: “British Land’s reported losses stand as a clear marker of the issues that the retail industry has relentlessly faced this year.”

She said that retail has to be able to add character to towns and cities, but that shopping centres and high streets are struggling to deliver this.

British Land’s future pipeline of work has expanded almost sevenfold, from 1.6m sq ft last year to 7.3m sq ft this year, principally due to British Land’s £4bn development at Canada Water, which gained approval from Southwark Council in October.

Its short-term pipeline, which is around 1m sq ft, includes the 335,000 sq ft office development at Norton Folgate, which was given the green light in 2016 by then Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

As part of its future strategy, British Land aims to become “a specialist in mixed-use” through campus-based London offices and smaller, more focused retail.

Source: Construction News, British Land reveals £404m loss, 13th November 2019. Read the full article here.

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