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Land Securities' asset value falls on retail sector woes

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(Reuters) – Land Securities Group Plc <LAND.L>, one of Britain’s largest listed property developers, said its net asset value per share fell in the first-half, hit by challenges in the retail sector.

“Structural and cyclical challenges have combined to create tough conditions for retailers,” the company, which manages the Bluewater shopping centre in southeast England, said.

The developer, having previously considered building apartments to overcome some of the challenges the retail market faces, said it would submit planning applications for over 1,700 homes at two suburban London location under its planned mixed use development.

The company also cited an increase in adverse market conditions as Britain continues its negotiations on its exit from the European Union.

“The board notes an increase in the market cyclicality risk due to greater uncertainty regarding the outcome of Brexit negotiations and an increase in customer risk reflecting the tougher retail trading environment,” Land Securities said.

Net asset value, calculated under the European Public Real Estate Association’s guidelines, was down 1.4 percent at 1,384 pence per share in the half year ended Sept. 30.

The value of Landsec’s combined portfolio over the six-month period, adjusted for net investment, fell 188 million pounds to 14 billion pounds. It fell 19 million pounds a year earlier.

The company said it had assessed risks to its business from different outcomes of UK’s negotiations with the European Union, including those under a ‘no deal’ Brexit, and currently does not see a material risk.

(Reporting by Shariq Khan and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Gopakumar Warrier)

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