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British Land looks to the future

British Land has sounded a positive note about the future despite marking down the value of its property portfolio by nearly 9 per cent.

The developer, which has a host of major office and retail schemes under construction, saw an 8.9 per cent mark-down in valuations this quarter with a total drop of 8.4 per cent in the last nine months.

But the firm said that it saw the mark-downs as the end, rather than the beginning, of a tough period for the business.

British Land chairman Chris Gibson-Smith 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.”

He added that 74 per cent of buildings completed by British Land in 2007 and 2008 have pre-lets, are under offer or have been sold on.

The firm expects Bovis Lend Lease to finish work on its 201 Bishopsgate office scheme in March, with its neighbouring Broadgate Tower following in the autumn.

Elsewhere in London, Bovis is also working on its Leadenhall Building and Regents Place projects, while Mace is managing its Ropemaker Place scheme, the next to finish in mid 2009.