Property company Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) returned to healthy profits in 2010 after suffering a loss the previous year, it was revealed today.
In the 12 months ending December 31st 2010 profits reached £529 million, improving on a loss of £370 million in 2009, and net rental income increased by four per cent year-on-year.
Occupancy across the company’s shopping centres, which include Manchester’s Arndale Centre and Victoria Centre in Nottingham, fell from 98.8 per cent in third quarter results released in November to 97.7 per cent at the end of the year but if you discount St David’s in Cardiff, which is being extended, the figure is 98.6 per cent.
Patrick Burgess, Chairman of CSC, commented: “The 2010 results demonstrate that CSC’s recovery is on track with increased like-for-like net rental income, improved operational performance and continuing property valuation surpluses.
“CSC has made some striking moves to redefine itself as the specialist REIT focused on pre-eminent UK regional shopping centres, including the demerger of Capco and the transformational acquisition of The Trafford Centre in January 2011.”
A proposed takeover deal from US firm Simon Property Group fell through due to CSC’s refusal to cancel the acquisition of Manchester’s Trafford Centre, which saw John Whittaker, the Chairman of Trafford’s previous owner Peel Group, become a non-executive director and 25 per cent shareholder in CSC.
Located in primary retail centres, CSC properties have benefitted from recent retail trends away from local high streets, and footfall across the group increased three per cent like-for-like during the year.
CSC claims that it has around £600 million available for further investment in construction which if realised could create as many as 4,500 jobs.
“CSC ends the year in a robust financial position with the debt to assets ratio at 48 per cent, around £500 million of financial headroom and a range of return enhancing organic opportunities which we intend to pursue vigorously,” Burgess added.
“While the UK faces economic challenges over the next few years, CSC is well placed to achieve growth and superior shareholder returns.”