C&R portfolio loses 73% of value

Capital & Regional, which owns The Mall shopping centres in Blackburn and Preston, suffered a 73% drop in net asset value in the past financial year.

The company posted a loss of £516m, up from £167m in 2007. NAV per share dropped from £10.04 to £2.67. Property under management lost £2.5bn in value and is currently valued at £4bn.

Hugh Scott-Barrett, chief executive, said: "The last 12 months have seen some of the most difficult conditions for the property market in many years.

"Falling property values have had a very significant impact on the group's performance in 2008. We have reported a pre-tax loss of £516m, a result which I know is deeply disappointing not only for shareholders but also for all who work at Capital & Regional."

C&R did post a recurring pretax profit for the year of £27.6m on the operating business, compared with £32.7m in 2007. Banking covenants have not been breached, it added.

Debt was reduced in 2008 from £625m to £113m after new equity was raised for the Mall fund.

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