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Losses deepen at British Land

A beleaguered retail market has resulted in a loss before tax of £404m at landlord British Land for the six months to 30 September. 

Losses deepened by 740% compared with the same period in 2018.

Chief executive Chris Grigg said: “We expect retail to remain challenging, so we’ll focus on driving operational performance and maintaining occupancy.” 

Underlying profit dipped by 10.1% to £152m. 

British Land’s portfolio valuation also took a hit, decreasing 4.3%  compared with the previous year to £11.7bn.

Grigg added: “We see early signs that some liquidity may be returning to parts of the market, and our focus will remain on thoughtfully progressing our strategy to reduce exposure.

“In London, we expect the market to remain good, with supply relatively constrained and high-quality space, in well-connected, vibrant parts of town continuing to attract demand from a range of businesses. These dynamics are highly supportive of our Campus approach.”

Occupancy levels remain high at 97%. Two-thirds of the landlord’s store vacancies since April 2017 as a result of company voluntary arrangement (CVA) or administration are either re-let, under offer or in negotiations. 

Last month, British Land got the green light for its new 53-acre town centre at Canada Water. The mixed-use scheme will create around 1 million sq ft of retail, leisure, entertainment and community space alongside 3,000 new homes. It will also deliver around 2 million sq ft of workspace accommodating 20,000 jobs.

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