Wereldhave Fires U.S., U.K. Chiefs to Stem Drop in Earnings

Wereldhave NV replaced its U.S. and U.K. directors as the Dutch real estate company tries to reverse a drop in profit that prompted the departure of its chief executive officer last month.

The company plans to accelerate its exit from the U.S. by selling its whole portfolio there in one deal rather than separately, according to a statement today. Wereldhave also plans to reduce its U.K. holdings and won’t make any purchases of shopping centers in the country until the end of 2013.

Wereldhave shares fell the most in six years on July 23 after the company cut dividend targets and Chief Executive Officer Hans Pars quit. Former Chief Financial Officer Dirk Anbeek became CEO yesterday. The company, based in The Hague, today reported a 17.5 percent decline in the direct result, rental income minus expenses, for the first half and called U.K. shopping center results “disappointing.”

Other changes announced today included a reduction of the company’s development portfolio, halting acquisitions and reducing the company’s loan-to-value ratio. Wereldhave targets earnings per share of at least 3.8 euros for 2012.

Wereldhave gained as much as 60 cents, or 1.4 percent, to 44.20 euros in Amsterdam trading and was up 0.9 percent at 9:29 a.m. The shares have dropped 15 percent this year, cutting the company’s market value to 952 million euros.

The company last month said the value of its U.S. assets fell by 128 million euros ($157 million) after renting apartments at a slower-than-expected pace and after receiving offers for some real estate that were below book value.

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