// Intu is bracing for a “challenging” 2019 following an increased number of retailers taking out CVAs
// CEO Matthew Roberts said Brexit uncertainty has resulted in performance doubts
// Roberts aims to execute his new strategy to reduce debts
Intu has said it was anticipating a “challenging” 2019 thanks to the growing number of retailers taking out CVAs, as boss Matthew Roberts aims to execute his new strategy to reduce debts.
Roberts, who was appointed as chief executive early last month, expressed doubts and said a “higher-than-expected level of CVAs” amid Brexit uncertainty is expected to affect performance throughout the year.
Over the first four months of the year, Intu secured 53 long-term leases, down from 60 over the same period last year.
Roberts’ strategy to reduce debts includes retaining cash generated within the business, disposals and part-disposals in sites in the UK and Spain, and a reduction in investment pipeline.
“Our operational performance in the quarter has been stable. Despite the current operating environment, I believe we have a very good business and am confident we can meet the challenges we are facing head on,” Roberts said.
“As previously disclosed, my priority is to reduce our loan to value to below 50 per cent and our plans to achieve this are underway.
“Our recent sale of a 50 per cent interest in intu Derby at book value is a positive first step in this regard.”