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UK's British Land posts third straight annual loss as pandemic hurts valuation

By Reuters

(Reuters) -UK commercial property firm British Land Co Plc posted a third consecutive annual loss on Wednesday, as the pandemic-related restrictions squeezed the valuation of its office and retail portfolios.

Commercial landlords have underperformed the wider real estate sector as multiple lockdowns and an ongoing moratorium on rent collection battered valuations of retail-focused assets, while remote working has weighed on office portfolios.

The company said it had collected 83% of financial year 2021 rent with 99% in the offices segment and 71% in the retail portfolio, adding that it was experiencing encouraging footfall since reopening of non-essential retail in mid April.

The Broadgate Estate owner, which counts office space as its biggest segment, said a per share measure which reflects the value of its buildings, EPRA Net Tangible Assets, fell 16.3% to 648 pence, while overall portfolio valuation slipped 10.8%.

The FTSE 100 firm said loss after tax for 12 months ended March 31 came in at 1.08 billion pounds ($1.53 billion), compared with a loss of 1.11 billion pounds a year earlier.

Last week, commercial property firms Land Securities Group and Great Portland Estates also reported hefty annual losses, mainly hurt by weak performance of their retail portfolio.

($1 = 0.7065 pounds)

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)