Retail landlord Hammerson this morning posted a £1.7bn loss for last year, after the coronavirus pandemic wiped £2bn off the value of its property portfolio.
Hammerson, which owns Birmingham’s Bullring Shopping Centre, said losses widened from £781m in 2019 to £1.7bn last year, primarily due to falling property values.
Its portfolio value at the end of 2020 was £6.33bn, down from £8.32bn the previous year, driven by a 35.8 per cent decline in its UK flagship retail destinations.
Net rental income dropped 41 per cent to £158m due to Covid-19 closures, tenant restructuring and higher provisions for bad debt and tenant incentives – the sharpest fall in the group’s history.
Adjusted earnings and earnings per share were £36.5m, down from £214m, and 1.6p.
However, the developer proposed a dividend of 0.2p per share, with an enhanced scrip dividend alternative of 2p per share.
Hammerson chief executive Rita-Rose Gagné said: “As our results show, Hammerson was hit hard. The retail sector, already in the grip of major structural change, has been significantly impacted by the restrictions imposed to tackle the pandemic, and we’ve also seen an increasing number of retail failures.
“Combined, this has resulted in the largest fall in net rental income and UK asset values in the group’s history.”