Liverpool One owner Grosvenor today revealed a ?165m fall in the value of its city centre shopping development.

The company blamed the economic downturn for the losses saying it was not immune to events in the global property and retail markets.

Today?s bad news follows drops in value of ?49m last year and ?140m in 2007.

It means what was a ?1bn project has now seen a total of ?354m wiped off its value, despite being 90% let.

However the Duke of Westminster?s company remains optimistic about its long-term future.

Mark Preston, group chief executive, said: ?This is a challenging time for the property industry and inevitably Grosvenor has been affected.

?But the impact has been cushioned by our well-diversified portfolio, low (debts) and steps taken since 2007 to curb acquisitions and reduce our development exposure. Hence, the impact on net asset value is relatively limited.?

Anticipating poorer economic conditions, Grosvenor has reduced its exposure to the credit crunch by delaying the start of new projects while concentrating on completing existing ones, including Liverpool One.

Grosvenor had cash and undrawn committed facilities with its bankers totalling ?523m, compared to ?607m in 2007.

Mr Preston continued: ?2009 is likely to be another difficult year of continued credit restrictions and poor confidence in the occupier markets. Looking beyond the downturn, our significant financial capacity puts us in a good position to take advantage of the excellent buying opportunities which will arise as the property market recovers.?

Source: Liverpool Echo


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