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LONDON-Warner Estate has continued its transformation into a specialist commercial investor, following the sale of £118 million ($164 million) of residential assets. The transformation helped drive net asset value up 16% to 403p in the 18 months to 31 March 2001.

Warner has sold its stake in residential investor BPT for £61 million ($85 million) and divested itself of its residential holdings in Walthamstow, North-West London, for £57 million ($79.25 million). The proceeds are being reinvested in commercial properties, and Warner’s commercial portfolio has grown from £162 million ($225 million) to £290 million ($403 million).

Within the commercial sector, the company is looking to reduce its reliance on retail property. During the last six months £13.6 million ($18.9 million) has been raised from the sale of 13 smaller properties bringing the sector weighting down to 42%. And £27.7 million ($38.5 million) has been invested in offices taking thesector weighting to 35 per cent. The remainder is in industrials.

Property Director Richard Moore said: ‘The increased weighting inoffices, at the expense of retail, is in response to forecast growth in the service sector. Our geographic preference is for Greater London and the South East where we expect the ripple effect from the strong performing City and West End markets to improve values.’

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