Queen takes GBP550mln hit as regional shops suffer in coronavirus lockdown

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Economic disruption caused by the coronavirus virus has wiped over GBP500mln from the value of the Queen’s shop and land assets, the Crown Estate revealed today.

A GBP552mln write-down of the Crown’s property assets outside of London in the year to 31 March 2020 cut the value of the portfolio to GBP13.4bn while total assets were worth GBP14.1bn.

Net revenue profit rose slightly to GBP345mln said Dan Labbad, chief executive, who added he expects net revenue profit and property valuations to be significantly down in the current 2020/21 financial year.

The improved performance was driven by driven primarily by disposals and re-gears in our Central London portfolio and the continued growth in fully operational offshore wind farms

So far this year, the Crown Estate has collected 52% of rents due from its shop tenants in central London and 53% in the provinces, though central London office rents have been much better at 88%.

Eat Out to Help Out has encouraged restaurants to reopen Labbad said, but there had been a number of CVAs and tenants going into administration without reopening.

All profits made by The Estate go the Treasury with 25% passed on to the Queen through the Sovereign Grant, though due to the impact of coronavirus payments are now being staggered with GBP87mln paid in July and the rest to follow in stages.

There were no staff bonuses last year, pay this year has been frozen and directors and senior management have taken a temporary 20% pay cut, Labbad said.

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