Northern Ireland

Prentice Estates writes down the value of its investments

A major property firm has written down the value of its investments by £11m.

The details are contained in the annual accounts of Portadown-based Prentice Estates.

Virtually all commercial property firms in NI have written down the value of their assets in recent years in recognition of the property crash.

In 2009 Prentice Estates valued its investment assets at just over £70m but revalued them at just over £59m in 2010.

The company has filed an abbreviated balance sheet which does not include an annual profit or loss figure.

However, a decline in the value of the retained profit account indicates that the firm made a trading loss of around £500,000 in 2010. Total retained profits are around £5.8m.

A note in the accounts states that the bulk of the firm's borrowings - £46m out of a total of £52m - is with Anglo Irish Bank.

Anglo has been absorbed into a new entity called the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation which will be wound down over the next 10 years.

However, the Prentice directors said they are in "advanced negotiations" with Anglo on the renewal of loan facilities and expect those talks to be "satisfactorily completed" by the end of 2011.

Prentice's properties include the Causeway Exchange office building in Belfast city centre which is leased by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.