Segro has raised further concerns about a tax on empty property after revealing that it had cost the company £2m since its introduction in April.

The developer described the introduction of rates on empty buildings as 'madness' as it struggles with a property slump that wiped 11.5% from its adjusted net asset value in the first six months of the year.

Ian Coull, chief executive, said the government should rethink the tax. Segro carried out 450,000 sq ft of demolitions in the first half, compared with 400,000 for the whole of last year, although not all this was related to the tax.

The company yesterday reported a loss of £315.3m for the six months to the end of June, against a £195m profit a year ago. This was caused by a 10.4% fall in its UK property portfolio, underperforming the IPD allindustrial index by 8.4%.

Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, The Independent