Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Hammerson to offload £400m in assets to focus on new shopping centre projects

London’s position as the number one shopping destination in the UK is under threat as international shoppers are travelling to Birmingham and Manchester instead.
Changing shopper trends are forcing retailers to re-evaluate their plans to attract international shoppers.

Shopping centre developers Hammerson is planning to offload £400 million worth of property this year in order to focus on new projects.

The new developments include starting work on a new shopping centre in Croydon and a £1.4 billion renovation of its north London‘s Brent Cross shopping centre.

According to The Telegraph, Hammerson wants to sell some of its existing stock in order to raise money for the development programme – although it did not specify which assets would be sold.

The news comes a day after the company posted its annual financial report, in which rental income increased by nine per cent to £347 million for the year ending December 31, but pre-tax profits plunged by 56 per cent to £317 million.

READ MORE: Hammerson sees 56% drop in profits

Hammerson said this fall was because its property value did not rise as quickly as it did in 2016, and if property valuations were discounted, then profits would be up 9.4 per cent to £230.7 million. 

“Despite some UK retail headwinds and geopolitical uncertainty, I am confident that we have a resilient and adaptable business with multiple opportunities to drive similar levels of growth,” chief executive David Atkins said.

Hammerson recently confirmed plans to submit a £1.4 billion development application to revamp Brent Cross shopping centre, which first opened in 1976 and could double in size with 200 new stores, a new town centre square and bigger bus station.

Hammerson has interests in several other major shopping centres in the UK, including The Bullring in Birmingham, Victoria Gate in Leeds, and Cabot Circus in Bristol.

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