The group which co-owns and operates the Bullring and Grand Central has recorded a full-year pre-tax loss of more than £260 million after retail failures put pressure on property values.

Listed Hammerson posted a pre-tax loss of £266.7 million for 2018, a major swing from a profit of £413.4 million in 2017.

Revenue also dropped year on year, falling from £320.6 million in 2017 to £292.4 million last year.

The London-based company attributed the downturn to tenant failures and a "structural shift in retail".

But there was some good news for Birmingham in its annual statement as the company vowed to lodge a planning application for the long-awaited 'Martineau Galleries' project in Corporation Street and Dale End.

 

The site includes shopping precinct The Square which was awarded a Certificate of Immunity from Listing by the Government last December.

It means it can be redeveloped or even knocked down without being impeded by having listed status for the next five years.

It is also due to lodge plans to redevelop Ladywood House above New Street station this year.

Hammerson's chief executive David Atkins said: "2018 was a tough year particularly in the UK.

"Tenant failures, the structural shift in retail and a more considered consumer created a difficult operating environment, putting pressure on property values.

"Outside of the UK, our destinations performed better with a strong contribution from premium outlets.

 

"Disposals will also enable us to prove the inherent value of this business which we believe is not recognised in the current equity market.

"We remain committed to exiting retail parks over the medium term and are in active portfolio-wide discussions on transactions of over £900 million which would add further strength to our balance sheet."

The high street has been hit in recent years with a string of major retailers going under or at least shutting a significant numbers of their stores.

Hammerson said net rental income had dropped by 1.3 per cent at its UK flagship destinations and by 4.3 per cent at retail parks due to tenant failures and CVAs.

The value of the company's portfolio dropped 5.9 per cent to £9.94 billion.

The company sold £570 million worth of its assets in 2018, with plans to dispose of another £500 million worth of assets in 2019 but did not elaborate further on the specifics in the statement to the London Stock Exchange.