Land Securities is pressing on with a demerger after securing initial ratings on the strength of its separate business units. Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Independent

In what could be its final set of full-year results, Land Securities showed a drop in net asset value of 10.3% to £20.67, exceeding expectations and beating the benchmark property index.

An 8.8% fall in the value of its investment property portfolio contributed to a pre-tax loss of £888.8m in the year to March 31, compared with a profit of almost £2bn the previous year.

The company made £1.6bn of investment property sales, at a 5.3% premium to the March 2007 valuation, impressive given rapid falls in the value of commercial property in the UK.

It now has a £13.6bn portfolio. The company remains a net seller of property, in spite of indicating a return to strategic acquisitions.