Land Securities has wiped £1.7bn off the value of its property portfolio as the slump in the commercial property market shows signs of further acceleration.
The UK’s largest property company said its net asset value dropped by more than a fifth in the six months to September 30, from £19.56 to £15.52 per share. The value of its properties fell by 12.7%, or £1.72bn, with a further knock from a goodwill impairment on its Trillium business of £147.6m.
Land Securities is no longer pursuing the demerger of its offices and retail businesses. It has always maintained that the process, which has cost £25m, was dependent on market conditions, and yesterday said that all work had stopped. It is in talks to sell Trillium, its infrastructure and outsourcing business.
Francis Salway, chief executive, said: 'The benefits of specialisation are still recognised by the board but we have closed the file.'
Salway anticipates further weakening in both the property investment and the occupational markets. UK property values fell about 4.6% in October – almost twice as much as September – according to CB Richard Ellis yesterday.
Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Independent