The Crown Estate delivered a resilient performance in its last financial year, increasing the amount of money it paid to the Treasury and outperforming most other property investors.

In its annual report for the year to 31 March, which was published on Wednesday, the Crown revealed it had generated a net income surplus of £226.5m, a 6.1% increase on the previous year.

Not surprisingly, the severe property slump caused the value of the estate to fall by 18% from £7.3bn to £6bn.

But its total return of -15.8% significantly exceeded that of the industry benchmark, the Investment Property Databank Quarterly Index, of -25.5%.

The estate’s directly-held property portfolio fell by 16.3% to £5.5bn.

The worst performance came from the urban estate, whose value dropped 21% to £4.2bn. The Windsor estate dropped by 4.3% to £165.5m, but the marine and rural estates rose in value by 10.6% and 1.9% to £409.5m and £919.5m respectively.

The Crown’s chief executive Roger Bright described the performance as ‘sound in challenging circumstances, largely due to a diversified portfolio based on high quality, sustainable assets’.