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New Signings And Increased Footfall Boost Hammerson Malls

Hammerson's earnings update provided positive news on footfall and signings.

A recovery in footfall and strong demand from retailers for new space has boosted earnings at mall landlord Hammerson.

In a trading update, Hammerson said that it expected adjusted earnings for the year to be £100M or above, ahead of analysts’ consensus estimates of £92M.

The number of shoppers visiting its centres in the UK, France and Ireland approached 90% of pre-Covid levels at malls which include the Bullring in Birmingham and Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin, while in its French shopping centres' footfall was closer to 95% of pre-Covid levels.

UK sales for Q3 were up 4% compared with the same period last year, while in France and Ireland they were up 3% and 2%, respectively.

Shares in Hammerson are down more than 80% since the start of 2020, but rose by 5% on Tuesday following the trading update.

Hammerson said that it had signed 221 new leases year-to-date and has increased its gross rental income by 11% so far this year, with leisure accounting for a growing share of tenants, alongside retailers and food and beverage operators.

The company, which is listed in London and Dublin, has collected 93% of the rent it is owed by tenants for the current quarter, and said that it expected that figure to increase in the forthcoming months.

Hammerson’s designer outlet subsidiary Value Retail also completed the refinancing of Bicester Village in September. 

Since joining as chief executive two years ago, Rita-Rose Gagné has targeted debt reduction through the divestment of assets.

Hammerson sold almost £200M of assets in the first half of the financial year, and the company was hopeful that retail property values could now be bottoming out as it plans to sell properties worth a further £300M over the next year.

Hammerson said yields on its flagship properties had remained stable over the past quarter.