Wichford, the listed company that buys government-occupied property, this morning revealed a 57% plunge in its net asset value in the year to 30 September.
The externally-managed company saw its NAV drop from 208.5p to 89p, driven by an 11.1% decline in the value of the UK and continental European properties to £598m.
Underlying pretax profits dropped from £11.6m to £10.7m, but the £140.8m portfolio revaluation decline led to an overall pretax loss of £130.4m. A full-year dividend of 7.25p a share is being paid.
'Our rental income remains secure despite the current economic instability,’ said chairman Philippe de Nicolay. ‘Because our tenants are all central and state government bodies, there is a very low risk of them defaulting on rent and as our tenant turnover is so low, we have the advantage of long-term stability.
‘With the likelihood of more turbulence ahead during 2009, we will be aiming to maintain this stability rather than expanding our portfolio.
'However, I am cautiously optimistic that we will see signs of recovery the following year.
'In preparation, we are conducting a comprehensive review of our financial arrangements, our portfolio and our strategy to ensure our business is in a good position to take advantage of the recovery when it arrives.’