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Minerva profits slump

Profits at property investor and developer Minerva were shredded in the first half as the owner of the Allders department store in Croydon was hit by a revaluation of its property portfolio.

The company is behind a number of office projects in the City of London including the Walbrook, which Skanska is building, as well as a huge planned transformation of Croydon town centre in the south of the capital.

But in figures for the six months ending in December 2007, Minerva said that uncertain market conditions and deteriorating sentiment towards the broader UK real estate sector had hit profits hard.

It said the City had seen a slowing down in tenant activity – with take up of office space in the final quarter down by half on the previous three months – while the retail sector had also weakened since the summer.

Revaluations of £108.2 million dragged pre-tax losses down to £114.5 million from a £15.4 million profit last time.

The loss was partially offset by a £23.8 million taxation credit bringing post-tax losses downs to £90.7 million.

Minerva’s pre-tax loss in the same period before investment property and revaluation movements widened from £2.3 million to £6.4 million.