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LONDON-Shopping centre investor Tops Estates turned in a disappointing set of figures for the year to 31 March 2001, with net asset value virtually unchanged at 327 per share and pre-tax profits down 1.4 per cent to £7.0 million ($9.87 million).

Chairman Everard Goodman blamed the City’s failure to understand the property sector and retail investments in particular. A shift in yields resulted in the annual portfolio valuation by Cluttons, falling 1.5% to £459 million ($647 million)

Goodman says the decline in capital values was ‘influenced by over-stated negative sentiments, which continue to affect the market’s perception of the industry.’ He adds: ‘The climate for investment in retail property was affected by concern about future rental growth prospects, and the investment market did not appreciate that shopping centre vacancy rates had fallen to an all time low.’

Tops has developments or extensions under way in Corby Town Centre, East Midlands; Harrogate, North Yorkshire; Leeds City Centre, West Yorkshire; Shepherds Bush, West London; Stafford and Worcester as well as a number of standing investments across the UK.

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