Russia-focused commercial property investment outfit Raven Property Group on Monday reported that it swung to a full-year loss due to a weak rouble exchange rate.
For 2018, the company recorded a loss before tax of Â£114.9m, as opposed to a Â£68.3m profit the year before, due to an unrealised loss on the revaluation of property at Â£121.8m from a profit of Â£31.3m, with this revaluation loss attributed to the weak exchange rate of the Russian rouble.
On 1 January 2018, the Rouble/Sterling exchange rate was 77.88 before it fell by 13.4% to 88.35 at 31 December 2018 after US sanctions took their toll on the currency, though it has since recovered to 86.12.
Glyn Hirsch, chief executive of Raven, said: “The Russian e-commerce sector continues to develop successfully with some impressive players emerging. We anticipate that they will soon start to make a significant impact on the logistics real estate market.”
Meanwhile, net rental and related income dropped by 9% to Â£118.3m due to a reduction in contributions from the company's existing investment portfolio, and near diminished returns from UK land sales.
“The business is now well positioned as a local market leader in one of the world's most appealing property sectors. We are close to having restructured our balance sheet so are in a strong position to benefit from a continued improvement in our market and at some point a significant change in valuations. Our prospects look better than they have at any time since 2014 and we are confident about the future,” said Hirsch.
Raven Property Group's shares were down 1.16% at 42.50p at 1643 GMT.