Rent collection improves for Hammerson

Shopping centres group Hammerson says rent collection is continuing to improve.

FILE PICTURE, Linked to todays NTI story NTIFALL, November 13, 2012, about how a woman died after falling from the top floor at the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham, UK..   Shoppers in Birmingham are out in their droves for last minute Christmas gifts as shops slash prices to bring back customers following heavy snow fall in the recent weeks. GV of Bullring shopping centre.
FILE PICTURE, Linked to todays NTI story NTIFALL, November 13, 2012, about how a woman died after falling from the top floor at the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham, UK.. Shoppers in Birmingham are out in their droves for last minute Christmas gifts as shops slash prices to bring back customers following heavy snow fall in the recent weeks. GV of Bullring shopping centre.

The group, which owns Bullring and Grand Central in Birmingham, collected 71 per cent of rents during the first half of this year and it is running at 65v per cent for the third quarter,

Like-for-like net rental income was flat at £67.7 million on the first six months of 2020 but adjusted profit rose 14 per cent to £20.1m.

Chief executive Rita-Rose Gagne said: "We have continued to respond to the changing landscape during the first half of 2021, which again was impacted by Covid-19. As we emerge from a unique moment in time, I see a pathway to create sustainable value as we transform the business to become more agile and able to anticipate and respond to this change. We own flagship destinations around which we can curate and reshape entire neighbourhoods and city centre spaces for generations to come.

"To realise this opportunity we are focused on continuing to de-lever the balance sheet through disposals of non-core assets, creating a leaner and more agile organisation, driving value in our destinations and accelerating our longer term developments."

The group's portfolio is currently valued at £5.5billion and it received £403m from disposals including its exit of the UK retail parks sector. It sold seven retail parks to Brookfield for £330m in April.

Hammerson said it had seen an encouraging reopening and operational performance at its centres with footfall currently averaging 80 per cent of the 2019 level

It plans to maximise income through optimising use of space in its centres including the repurposing of vacant department stores and redeveloping underutilised space to alternative uses where appropriate. It will also aim to attracting new brands and services.

Categories across the group which performed strongly in the first half included jewellery, footwear and homeware.

The pandemic has also created a noticeable lifestyle shift with a demand for outdoor entertainment and facilities

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