Even the queen is taking a financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
Part of Queen Elizabeth’s UK real estate portfolio lost $716 million in value last fiscal year as the COVID-19 crisis exacerbated existing struggles for its tenants.
The Crown Estate — which oversees the monarch’s vast holdings in London and other parts of the country — took the loss in its regional property segment, which includes shopping centers and business parks around the country.
The drop stemmed from “the challenging operational markets faced by our retail customers during the year, an issue which has been accelerated by COVID-19,” the estate said in its annual report released Friday.
The total value of the estate’s portfolio fell by 1.2 percent to 13.4 billion British pounds, or roughly $17.4 billion, according to the report.
The report only covers the estate’s fiscal year that ended March 31, less than two weeks after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered pubs and other businesses to close in an effort to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
But the estate said the economic disruption and resulting drop in rental receipts have led it to stagger its payments to the UK treasury. It expects its regional and central London portfolios to take a significant hit going forward “as a result of COVID-19 as well as disruption from the increase in online retail,” the report says.
Despite the financial challenges, the estate said it turned a roughly $447 million net revenue profit in the fiscal year, up 0.4 percent from the prior year.
“Many of our real estate markets were already facing long term structural challenges, which have now been accelerated as a result of COVID-19,” Crown Estate chief executive Dan Labbad said in a statement. “Against this backdrop, and the ongoing economic uncertainty, we have delivered a result for the year which reflects the underlying strength of our portfolio and the active approach of our team.”