Hammerson, the retail and offices property developer that owns London’s Brent Cross shopping centre and which has a stake in Birmingham’s Bullring, sank to a pre-tax loss in the first six months of the year after almost 10% was wiped off its net asset value.

Hammerson has been hit by a sharp decline in the value of underlying property assets during the past 12 months as the wider property sector has suffered its worst slump since the early 1990s.

Yesterday, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £417m, from a profit of £368m profit a year ago, because of the devaluation of its properties by some £407m.

Adjusted net asset value per share fell from £15.45p to £13.92p, a drop of about 10 per cent. Its portfolio, which is primarily good quality office and retail buildings, and which also includes Bishops Square in the City, is now worth about £7.1bn.

There was better news from the company about the strength of the occupier market after fears were raised this week by rival Liberty International about growing bad debts from retailers going into administration.

Financial Times, The Times