- Commercial property investment firm UK Commercial Property REIT Limited has reported a net loss for the year of £10.3 million – a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The loss was driven by downturns in the leisure, office and retail sectors, although the majority of the firm’s retail portfolio is in retail warehouses and supermarkets – sectors that have proved more resilient through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is to issue a further interim dividend in relation to 2020, of 0.531p which will be paid on 21 May 2021 to shareholders on the register by 7 May 2021.

However, this year’s share price return, taking into account dividends paid over the period, was significantly lower than previous years at -19.7%.

£218 million in cash resources was available at the end of the year, up £88 million on 2019, and this was further boosted by sales in Quarter 1, 2021 resulting in the firm having £276 million to invest into the portfolio and enhance earnings.

Rent collection of 83% in 2020 is down on 97% for the whole of 2019, but rates continued to increase as the year progressed.

Ken McCullagh, chair of UKCM, said: ‘The portfolio that has been put in place over the last few years has enabled the Company to weather the current difficult situation and emerge in a position of relative strength to create additional value in the future.’

He added: 'Although there is much speculation over the future of the office sector, for example, as businesses adjust to hybrid working practices, UKCM is in a strong position and the success of the vaccine rollout thus far should provide confidence that businesses can reopen and rebuild.'

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