Intu has seen a decline in both footfall and net rental income in a “UK retail environment which continues to be challenging”.
In the six months to June 30, the shopping centre giant which welcomes an average of 35 million unique customers a year saw net rental income drop 1.5 per cent.
In light of this it has forecast net rental income to be zero per cent, at the bottom end of its 0-2 per cent range.
Footfall also took a hit, slipping 0.5 per cent over the same period. However, this was well below ShopperTrak‘s -2.7 per cent benchmark.
Intu also signed 103 long-term leases in the first half of the year, with average rent prices up seven per cent on a year prior, totaling £18 million a year.
Alongside the hundreds of new leases, Intu also expanded its Spanish presence, having bought Xanadu shopping centre in March.
“Intu has performed robustly over the six month period in a UK retail environment which continues to be challenging,” Intu chief executive David Fischel said.
“Retail brands are being selective in their expansion, looking at established locations such as our 17 prime shopping centres which are attracting high footfall through their differentiated offering and compelling customer experience.
“Our £679 million UK development programme is progressing on schedule with the £180 million Intu Watford extension on target to open in Autumn 2018.
“We expect to start shortly on the £71 million Intu Lakeside leisure extension which is over 90 per cebnt let to tenants including Nickelodeon, Hollywood Bowl and multiple restaurants.
“We have a clear strategy to deliver long-term value to shareholders and, with cash and available facilities amounting to £920 million, we have significant flexibility to pursue opportunities as they arise in the UK and Spain.”