British Land’s net asset value per share fell 20% to 1,344p in the year to 31 March 2008.

The result, which reflects the value of the company’s assets, was better than the City forecast of 1,280p, and British Land said it might indicate that the credit crunch was relenting.

Others were not so sure. Harry Stokes, an analyst at Citi, was sceptical that the worst was over given that rents were expected to fall further.

British Land said the value of its portfolio fell 10% to £13.5bn over the year but that the decline was slowing.

The property group owns and manages £17.9bn of assets, including the 446,000m2 Broadgate Estate in the City and the 100,000m2 Regent's Place in the West End.

It is developing the £286m Leadenhall building in London.