May 15, 2019 / 7:12 AM / 9 months ago

British Land annual NAV declines on high-street retail closures

(Reuters) - Real estate firm British Land Co reported a 6.4% drop in annual net asset value (NAV) on Wednesday, as retailers invested less in physical stores amid increased online competition.

Britain’s second-largest listed property developer said EPRA net asset value, a key industry metric that reflects the value of a firm’s buildings, was 905 pence per share in the year ended March 31, down from 967 pence a year earlier.

The company said its retail valuations were down 11.1 percent, as many retail firms were shutting down stores to cut costs and focus on the online space, dealing a blow to real estate firms that get a large chunk of their business from retailers.

Rivals echoed similar concerns and blamed a string of collapses on Britain’s high street that led to higher vacancies and declining asset value.

Land Securities Group Plc on Tuesday said full-year NAV fell 4.5%, while shopping centre operator Intu Properties lowered its full-year rental income forecast earlier this month.

British Land, which counts Marks and Spencer, Tesco and IKEA as tenants, said London market would remain active but there was however a “notable pause” in the early part of 2019 as Brexit uncertainty increased.

The company also said its London office business portfolio value rose 1.1%.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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