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Hammerson hit by retail climate despite disposal programme

Property company Hammerson has sold its majority stake in Parisian retail destination Italie Deux, as it swings to a loss in its half-year results. 

Hammerson sold a 75% stake in Italie Deux, and agreed a forward sale of a 75% stake in the centre’s planned 69,000 sq ft extension for a total of £423m, as part of its ongoing disposal programme. 

The transaction takes Hammerson’s total disposals in 2019 to £495m, which is more than 90% of its £500m target. It brings the company’s net debt to £3.1bn. 

The shopping centre owner reported a pre-tax loss of £319.8m for the six months to 30 June, sinking from a profit of £55.7m in the previous year. Adjusted profit fell by 10.5% to £107.4m as net rental income shrank by 12.3% to £156.6m. 

David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, said: “The UK retail landscape is undoubtedly challenging, and traditional high street fashion is under pressure. However, our focus on shifting our line-up towards categories with greater customer appeal and rental growth potential has resulted in over 90% of new leasing to leading consumer and F&B brands. We’ve seen a stronger performance in Ireland and France, alongside continued exceptional results from premium outlets which demonstrates the benefits of our diversified portfolio.

“Our absolute priority remains to reduce debt. We stated our intention to achieve over £500m of disposals in 2019 and even in this tough environment where deals are taking longer to transact, we are now most of the way there. We will continue to pursue additional sales throughout 2019 and into 2020 to further strengthen our balance sheet.”




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