But the Crown Estates Commissioners said that they had paid pounds 70m into the Exchequer's Consolidated Fund, general government revenues; up from pounds 61m last year, pounds 55m in 1989-90, and pounds 41m in 1988-89.
The commissioners, chaired by the Earl of Mansfield, have a legal duty 'to maintain and enhance' the value of the estate, which last year comprised 250,000 acres (101,000 hectares) of agricultural land and 10,500,000 sq ft (975,000 sq m) of office, retail and industrial property in central London.
However, the report said: 'The valuation of the Crown Estate at 31 March 1992 is pounds 1,772m. This represents a decrease of pounds 313m on the 1991 valuation.'
Last year's open market valuation of pounds 2,085m dropped a further pounds 307m on the 1990 figure. The latest accounts also showed that the market value of gilt-edged securities at the end of March was pounds 68m, up from pounds 54.1m last year.
The Crown Estates' pounds 70m contribution to the Consolidated Fund was laid down under the Civil List Act of 1952 and therefore more than offsets the Civil List payments to members of the Royal Family.
The Crown Estate, Accounts 1991-92. Commons paper 100; HMSO; pounds 3.50.Reuse content