Property company Hammerson has reported that it increased occupancy and sales at its retail sites during 2010, according to full-year results published today.
A rise in adjusted profits-before-tax of 11.2 per cent was helped in large part by the disposal of several properties and the group’s continued concentration in large centres and prime locations.
Group occupancy, at the owner of such retail properties as the Bullring and Highcross shopping centres, rose from 95.4 per cent in December 2009 to 97.3 per cent at the end of 2010.
Footfall at the company’s UK shopping centres was up 3.5 per cent in like-for-like (LFL) terms, ahead of the national average.
John Nelson, Chairman of Hammerson, said: “This is a strong set of results which reinforces the strategy we are pursuing. Our rigorous focus on the performance of each asset is improving occupancy and income.
“We have sold mature assets and reinvested in properties which offer better growth prospects through active management.”
A continuing consumer spending shift away from high streets and towards large centres and well-positioned retail parks, as highlighted by a recent report by the Local Data Company, is suiting Hammerson’s retail mix.
LFL net rental income grew by 3.5 per cent year-on-year and with gearing of 52 per cent the group is eyeing further investments and developments in 2011.
“Looking forward, our financial flexibility and continued asset recycling will allow us to continue to take advantage of opportunities which we believe will arise in the coming period,” added Nelson.