Capital Shopping Centres falls on its bleak outlook

Kasmira Jefford
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SHARES in Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) fell by more than three per cent yesterday, despite issuing a robust trading statement, as the UK’s biggest shopping mall owner warned of tough times ahead.

The owner of Manchester’s Trafford Centre and the MetroCentre in Gateshead said footfall at its malls was up two per cent from 1 July to October, while occupancy across its portfolio was 97 per cent, unchanged from the previous quarter.

“CSC has delivered a robust operational performance in the period in the face of a challenging economic and retail background,” chief executive David Fischel said in a statement.

CSC said it expected the UK will continue to face a low growth environment, a challenging retail market and a restricted financing market for real estate, with the Eurozone debt crisis creating more uncertainty and affecting investment decisions.

CSC said it was experiencing strong demand and rental growth for large stores and catering units. Smaller stores, which were hardest hit by tenant failures, remained a difficult market.

The group signed 56 leases in the third quarter to generate a net £3m in additional annual rental income.

CSC shares yesterday closed down 10.7p at 329.30p.