Intu bullish on outlook as Hammerson deal wavers

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Excluding the impact of snow, footfall was up (Source: Getty)

Shopping centre owner Intu saw record retailer demand in the first quarter of the year, as the business geared up to save its tie-up with Hammerson.

The property company released the bullish trading update a week earlier than planned today, following Klepierre's bid for Hammerson which it later abandoned.

Some of Hammerson's shareholders have expressed concern over the proposed £3.4bn offer for Intu, due to a tough retail climate and higher financial leverage.

But the company rebuked this today with a set of numbers showing increased occupancy in its sites, at 96.1 per cent compared to 95.8 per cent last year.

The company also said footfall had increased 1.5 per cent on the year, though this did not include the weeks when retailers were hard-hit by snow earlier this year.

The company also revealed that closures of New Look, Toys R Us and Prezzo branches would have a £3.9m effect, equivalent to 0.8 per cent of last year's net rental income.

Intu also sees opportunities to grow its UK portfolio, while an additional £600m retail resort in Spain is due to begin construction within the next year.

"All this development activity is underpinned by a robust financial structure with cash and available facilities of £872 million and an active capital recycling programme," said chief executive David Fischel.

"As a result of this strong performance, we reiterate our guidance for like-for-like net rental income growth both for the current financial year, subject to no further material tenant failures, and over the medium term."

Read more: Hammerson shares tumble after Klepierre abandons £5bn takeover approach

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