The Crown Estate: revenues and property values to be ‘significantly down’ next year
Queen’s business announces big profit but value of portfolio drops by £550m as Covid crisis takes toll
The Crown Estate is predicting tough times ahead due as the coronavirus pandemic hits the Queen’s profits and asset values.
In a newly published annual report, the estate - an independent commercial business owned by the reigning monarch - has announced a net revenue profit of £345m for the 12 months ending 31 March, up by 0.4% year-on-year.
But the value of the Queen’s land and property decreased by 1.2% to £13.4bn, “mostly as a result of a £552.5m (17%) write-down of its regional portfolio due to the challenging retail market, including falling rental values”, Sky News reports.
The estate’s portfolio includes the majority of Regent Street and around half of St James’s in London, and the business also manages the Windsor Estate, including Windsor Great Park. All profits are returned to the Treasury, which passes 25% to the Queen through the Sovereign Grant.
Reflecting on the challenging retail market, The Crown Estate chief executive Dan Labbad said that “many of our real-estate markets were already facing long term structural challenges, which have now been accelerated as a result of Covid-19”.
“As we look ahead we are under no illusions about the challenges we face,” he continued. “Whilst it is too early to accurately forecast our performance for next year, we do expect our net revenue profit and property valuations to be significantly down.”
But on an upbeat note, Labbad added that “our resilient structure, established to operate in perpetuity and with no debt, coupled with our diverse portfolio, provides us with the means to navigate this current crisis, while continuing to invest for the long term”.