LONDON (AP) — Full-year losses at British Land Company PLC more than doubled as the company wrote down the value of its holdings by 28 percent, it said Thursday.
Asserting that prime property "is the place to be," the company said it believed valuations would move higher as economic uncertainty eases.
For the year ending March 31, British Land reported a loss of 3.9 billion pounds ($6.1 billion), compared to a loss of 1.6 billion pounds a year earlier. Revenue fell 14 percent to 554 million pounds.
The company wrote down the value of its property portfolio by 3.2 billion pounds, following a writedown of 1.56 billion pounds in the previous year.
British Land shares were down 5.7 percent at 390.5 pence at midday on the London Stock Exchange.
Jonathan Jackson, of Killick & Co., said the company's report reinforced his negative view of the sector.
"Even when the market bottoms out, we are concerned the recovery will be very subdued as the banks look to unwind their property books," Jackson said.
British Land said the financial turmoil sparked by the subprime loans crisis sent property values falling indiscriminately.
"The repricing was inevitably approximate and had less to do with changes in income security and longevity and more to do with the comparative pricing of alternative investments in a capital constrained environment," said Charles Gibson-Smith, the company chairman.
"As market uncertainty lifts over the coming months, property specific valuations will become based once more on observable evidence, particularly as regards the sustainability of income. Prime property, whilst not immune, is the place to be."
British Land's holdings include 30 million square feet of retail space and more than 5 million square feet of London office space.
On the Net: http://www.britishland.com
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.