StockMarketWire.com - Real estate company Great Portland Estates pulled guidance after reporting a fall in annual profit on lower revenue and a fall in the value of its retail properties.

For the year ended 31 March 2020, pre-tax profit fell to £51.6m from £56.1m on-year as revenue fell 8.9% to £102.4m.

Rental income fell 2.5% to £79.9m and the value of the company's portfolio valuation was down 0.3%, with developments up 11.9%, offices up 1.0%, and retail down 3.5%.

The total dividend per share was up 3.3% to 12.6 pence, including an unchanged final dividend of 7.9p on-year.

'It is clear that we must plan for a recession with an increase in unemployment, leading to reduced occupational demand for space, implying falling rental and capital values. Key to our market's performance will be both the depth of the downturn and the shape of the recovery. Given this uncertainty, we are pausing the provision of guidance on rental value movements until the picture becomes clearer,' the company said.

'We do expect to see some yield expansion for both office and retail properties, although London's yields today still remain attractive relative to other global cities and underlying interest rates,' it added.

In a separate statement, the company also announces that Exane BNP Paribas had pre-let 39,970 sq ft of office space in its development at 1 Newman Street and 70/88 Oxford Street in London as headquarters for its Exane BNP Paribas cash equities business.

'Exane BNP Paribas will occupy the fifth, sixth and seventh floors, as well as ancillary basement space on three separate 15 year leases,' the company said. 'Completion of the leases is conditional only upon practical completion and obtaining a change of use of c.400 sq ft of basement from A1 retail space to B1 ancillary offices.'

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