British Land will intensify the gloom surrounding the commercial-property market this week when it reports the net value of its assets has declined by as much as a quarter in only six months.

Sector watchers are convinced half-year figures from the FTSE 100 giant could be even worse than arch-rival Land Securities, which last week unveiled a savage 20% drop in its net asset value. That is because British Land has bigger debts and a greater exposure to out-of-town retail warehouse parks, which have been hard hit by the market turmoil.

Analysts expect British Land’s NAV per share will have dropped to around £10 from £13.44.

The company, which is facing the downturn without a chief executive following Stephen Hester’s departure to Royal Bank of Scotland, will attempt to put a brave face on the results. It is expected to tell the City it has few voids in its portfolio, no refinancing issues and strong income generation.

Sunday Times