Liberty International lost £458m in the first half of the year as the first signs of a weakening retail sector exacerbated the effects of the real estate downturn.

The UK’s biggest shopping centre landlord said more than 13% had been wiped off its NAV, taking it from £12.64 to £10.95 in the first half, worse than most analysts had expected. The shares fell 70p to 900p.

There was a 7.4% fall in value of its properties, knocking £639m off its £8bn portfolio. As a result, the company reported a £458m pre-tax loss for the half-year to June 30 compared with a £552m profit a year ago. Losses per share of 117.9p compared with earnings of 138p in the same period last year. The interim dividend is maintained at 16.5p.

Liberty said that 62 of its UK shopping centre tenants had fallen into administration in the first half. Although this accounted for just £10m, or 3%, of its rent roll, the loss was an unwelcome development.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent