Developer posts £186m interim loss after revaluation slices £187m off portfolio value

Mixed-use developer Minerva has posted a six-month loss of £186m after it made a massive writedown in the value of its land holdings.

This compares with a £90m loss in the comparable period for 2007, and follows a £187m fall in the value of property holdings over the period. The revaluation leaves Minerva with a net asset value per share of 20.2p, compared with 187.7p just six months previously.

Shares fell 4% on the announcement in early trading.

The firm also said it had so far failed to let fully its two major City of London office buildings – the Walbrook and St Botolphs – which are due to complete at the end of this year and the middle of 2010 respectively. It reported no lettings at the Walbrook and said St Botolphs had prelet just 20% of the floorspace.

Minerva's Walbrook scheme
Minerva's Walbrook scheme in the City of London will complete this year but has so far failed to achieve any lettings

This news follows last week's decision by the secretary of state for communities and local government to call in the planning application on the Ram Brewery site in Wandsworth, meaning a final decision on whether the scheme can go ahead will not be reached until the end of the year.

Minerva increased its revenue from £4.1m to £5m over the period, mainly due to the acquisition of new properties.

Oliver Whitehead, chairman of Minerva plc, said: “The economic environment has been exceptionally tough. Like other real estate companies, this has significantly affected the value of our property portfolio. Although the market conditions remain very difficult and the outlook is uncertain, we have in place high-quality projects and the management team to take us through this difficult period.”