LONDON - Bloomberg

Brixton Plc, the U.K.'s largest owner of industrial buildings, reported a loss for the first half of this year as the company's properties depreciated.
The net loss was 235 million pounds ($437 million), or 86.8 pence a share, compared with a profit of 192 million pounds, or 70.9 pence, a year earlier, the London-based company said yesterday in a statement. Net asset value, excluding derivatives and deferred tax on value gains, fell 18 percent to 448 pence a share.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Wheeler has focused on developing and buying properties near London's Heathrow Airport, where a shortage of logistics centers and warehouses in the area is helping lift rental income. In the first half, Brixton's real estate lost 10 percent of its value, more than the average decline for U.K. industrial buildings of 8.2 percent.
�The commercial property market has become more challenging in response to the credit crunch and slowing economies,'' Wheeler said in the statement.
Brixton fell 12.25 pence, or 4.9 percent, to 235.5 pence at 8:06 a.m. in London. The shares have declined 29 percent in six months. Brixton's properties lost 220 million pounds in value in the first half of this year after appreciating by 161 million pounds a year earlier.
Net rental income increased 14 percent to 44.9 million pounds as Brixton raised rents and attracted tenants to its properties. The vacancy rate, excluding space in new developments, increased to 10.5 percent from 9.7 percent at the end of 2007.