Hammerson values fall despite belated upturn

PROPERTY investor Hammerson yesterday reported a nine per cent dip in its portfolio value for 2009 despite strong market performance during the latter half of the year.

Results for the Anglo-French company ending 31 December 2009 showed that the value of its portfolio increased by six per cent after 30 June as a result of a sharp upturn in activity in the UK property market.

Hammerson chairman John Nelson said that the second-half performance was down to the recent recovery in the property market, which was supported by strong investor demand, but that the economic outlook remained uncertain. He said: “We will continue to capitalise on opportunities which are being presented by the markets. This is likely to lead to more active management and evolution of our portfolio.”

Rental income for the year fell slightly by 2.1 per cent to £293.6m but Hammerson said that portfolio investment remained steady compared to 2008. Net debt for the property investor decreased by £1.2bn in 2009 after it launched a £584.2m rights issue in February last year and saw a number of property disposals. Hammerson has two major French developments already underway.

The stock closed down one per cent at 387.4p.