Hammerson hopes for malls boost

 
City A.M. Reporter
PROPERTY investor Hammerson is betting on its landmark shopping malls to underpin its rising portfolio value and income levels, as fears of a relapse in global property prices stalk the market.

The Anglo-French retail property specialist, which owns or co-owns some of Europe’s most popular shopping centres like Birmingham’s Bullring and Italie 2 near Paris, said it saw signs that consumer confidence was flagging.

But some retail tenants who had survived the global property slump were now thriving due to lower market rents and weaker competition.

Chief executive David Atkins said: “Although the retail environment remains challenging, trading at our regionally dominant shopping centres remains strong.”

He added: “We’ve been able to grow our income streams... unlike the wider market which has seen declines in the last six months.”

Hammerson’s overall occupancy rate by rose by one percentage point to 96 per cent, compared with an industry average of 85 per cent.

The company also delivered like-for-like rental growth of five per cent over the period, lifting net income to £140m.

A series of new retailing brands are heading to Hammerson’s UK malls, including US fashion retailer Forever 21, which is shortly due to open its doors at the Bullring.