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Hammerson to sell property to focus on new developments

Hammerson is to offload more than £400m-worth of property this year as it starts work on a new shopping centre in Croydon and a £1.4bn revamp of north London’s Brent Cross shopping centre.

The property company, which operates Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre and north London’s Brent Cross shopping centre, will sell some of its existing stock in order to raise money for the development programme, according to the Telegraph. It did not say which of its assets were likely to be sold.

Rental income at the firm grew by 9% to £347m for the year to the end of December 2016, however, pre-tax profits fell by more than half to £317m, because the value of the company’s property did not rise as quickly in 2016. If property valuations are disocunted, profits were up 9.4% to £230.7m. 

Chief executive David Atkins said: “Despite some UK retail headwinds and geopolitical uncertainty, I am confident that we have a resilient and adaptable business with multiple opportunities to drive similar levels of growth.”

As previously reported by Drapers, Hammerson is set to submit a planning application to revamp north London’s Brent Cross shopping centre within a matter of weeks.

The £1.4bn modernisation plan will double the size of the existing shopping centre, adding 200 new stores, 40 new restaurants, a cinema complex and hotel accommodation, as well as a new town square and expanded bus station.

The centre first opened 40 years ago in 1976.

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