British REIT Slashes Mall Values in U.K. Retail Crisis

(Bloomberg) -- Land Securities Group Plc wrote down the value of its U.K. shopping centers by 11.7% as rental income declined and battered retailers shuttered more stores.

Britain’s second-largest real estate investment trust lost about 10 million pounds ($13 million) of rent from retailers in the financial year that ended on March 31. That was outweighed by rising rents in the office business, according to a company statement on Tuesday.

The rise of online shopping, tax and wage hikes and a sluggish economy have conspired to cripple dozens of traditional retailers in recent years. Debenhams Plc is among the household names closing stores and trying to negotiate lower rents for their remaining locations. That’s led to record low sales of shopping malls and retail properties and pushed Land Securities below warehouse owner Segro Plc in the list of the most valuable publicly traded landlords.

Weaker retail markets accounted for a 4.1% decline in the value of the company’s portfolio overall. Land Securities sees “no near-term improvement in retail market conditions,” the company said.

Land Securities reported full-year revenue profit of 442 million pounds, beating the average analyst estimate of 436.5 million pounds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Revenue profit is a measure used by property companies that excludes profits on the sale of trading properties, valuation movements and movements on swaps and other debt instruments. It focuses on the income generated from leasing investment properties net of costs.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.