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British Land announces record losses

Full-year figures from British Land were released today showing a record loss of £3.18 billion against a loss last year of some £1.56 billion. The figure was significantly higher than the forecast £3 billion which many analysts had pencilled in and perfectly reflects the ongoing difficulties of the UK office market.

The company is the largest office developer in London and as such it has been hit very hard by the ongoing recession which has seen a number of tenants fall by the wayside. The loss of rental income and significant write-down of the value of the company's existing property portfolio has placed pressure on the company's finances resulting in a £740 million rights issue earlier this year. More worryingly for the company, and the sector as a whole, the directors of British Land do not believe we have seen the bottom of the UK property market decline indicating the worst may be ahead.

The sector as a whole has fallen sharply over the last 12 to 18 months as slowly but surely tenants fall by the wayside and property values continue to fall. While there may be significant long-term value in many areas of the UK property market, finance is at a premium and many companies are struggling to survive.

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