Credit crunch reduces net asset values by 9% but property developer says worst could be over

The value of British Land’s portfolio fell 8.9% to £14.6bn in the last three months of 2007 after its UK offices and shopping centres slumped in value.

The property developer also reported a fall in net asset value per share by 16.7% to 1401p in its third quarter results.

Chairman Chris Gibson-Smith blamed the fall on the credit crunch but remained optimistic about the company’s future.

He said: "Macro-economic uncertainty and the global credit crunch have depressed property values.

"However, the worst should now be behind us, though uncertainties remain on timing and extent of the correction.

"The exceptional quality of prime property cash flow is again representing clear value. We are optimistic about British Land's inherent strengths and ability to create value over the course of the business cycle."

The firm said London office and out-of-town retail demand trends remained unchanged for the medium term, despite short term pressures.

It said it would continue to push forward in these core sectors.

British Land also said asset values had not yet fully completed their adjustment though recent sales and properties under offer were encouraging.

The developer owns most of the Broadgate estate in the City and other major properties such as Sheffield’s Meadowhall Shopping Centre and Regent’s Place in north London.