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Profits fall at Hammerson

Profits and rental income at Hammerson fell last year as the shopping centre owner continues to reshape its portfolio.

Net rental income was down 11.2% to £308.5m in the year to 31 December 2019.

Adjusted profits fell by 10.9% to £214m.

Hammerson made £542m worth of disposals in 2019, ahead of targets of £500m.

David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson, said: “We have taken decisive action over the past 12 months to reduce debt and significantly reshape the portfolio. Against a challenged retail and investment backdrop, we have exceeded our 2019 disposal target, exited the retail parks sector as we said we would and reduced debt by a third. This delivered nearly £1bn of transactions in the process. With the outlook for the UK retail market remaining uncertain, we believe we should maintain our focus on reducing debt during 2020.”

He continued, “In strengthening our balance sheet further, we will create a more resilient business and also generate significant liquidity which could, at the appropriate time, be deployed to create enhanced returns for shareholders.

“The magnitude of the challenge facing UK retail is significant. However, as brands look to optimise their store estates and strike the right balance between online and physical retail, the best destinations continue to be highly relevant - this is highlighted by the rise in visitor numbers across all our regions.”

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