May 30, 2018 / 6:31 AM / 22 days ago

Retail property firm Londonmetric nervous about UK sector outlook

(Reuters) - The online-driven shakeout of UK retailers has yet to run its course and there is likely more pain to come, one of the sector’s big landlords, Londonmetric Property Plc (LMPL.L), said on Wednesday, while reporting a tripling in full-year profit.

Comments from the retail real estate investor echo those of UK property sector bellwether British Land, which warned earlier this month of a challenging retail environment with many occupiers facing short-term headwinds.

Londonmetric has shifted its focus away from traditional brick-and-mortar retail to building and owning distribution centres, including partnering with Amazon, but it still owns high street locations.

“We remain highly nervous on the outlook for the retail sector with the tectonic plates shifting so materially that it’s now a very difficult sector to navigate and deliver superior returns,” the company said.

“Many will tell you that we are entering the final act. We are not and there will be value destruction in parts of retail,” Chief Executive Andrew Jones cautioned.

The British property company said its full year profit rose to 186 million from 63 million a year ago, helped by a 121.6 million gain from property revaluation.

Net asset value per share rose over 10 percent to 165.2 pence per share.

Shares in the company were flat in the first hour of trading in London.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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