Real estate company Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) today reported a strong trading performance for the period between July 1st and October 31st 2011, with footfall up and occupancy levels stable year-on-year.
The owner of Manchester’s Trafford Centre, Lakeside in Essex, Metrocentre in Gateshead and a host of other leading shopping malls across the UK also said that a number of new long-term leases helped significantly boost passing rents.
Occupancy for CSC’s property portfolio stands at 97 per cent, while footfall between July and October period was in line with the same period in 2010, but up two per cent annually in the year to date.
Some 56 new long-term leases were signed in the quarter, generating £9 million in new rent, which represented an increase of £3 million from previous passing rent.
Notable developments at CSC’s shopping centres across the UK during the trading period, included the arrival of a flagship Dune store and Banana Republic’s second standalone shop outside of London at the Trafford Centre.
Additionally, fashion retailers Choice and Bhs unveiled new concepts at Lakeside, while Primark’s 60,000 sq ft flagship store opened to the public at Metrocentre earlier this month.
David Fischel, CEO of CSC, commented: “As evidenced by a 97 per cent occupancy level, CSC has delivered a robust operational performance in the period in the face of a challenging economic and retail background.
“CSC remains well positioned through its focus on leading and high quality regional shopping centres in the UK.”
With the UK retail market continuing to struggle due to low consumer confidence and various economic constraints on shoppers and businesses alike, the property company is prepared for a difficult trading period ahead.
New Chief Operating Officer Mike Butterworth will help steer the business through these tough times, and he has taken responsibility for operations, asset management and development activity across all 14 of CSC’s centres.
Previously, Butterworth was Managing Director of Trafford Centre for 15 years until its acquisition by CSC in January 2011, when he initially took responsibility for a further three of the group’s centres.
Today’s trading statement read: “We continue to expect a low growth environment, a challenging retail market and a restricted financing market for real estate for some time in the UK, with the Eurozone crisis creating more uncertainty and impacting investment decisions.
“We are reassured however by the sound positioning, robust operational performance and defensive financial structure of CSC’s business.”