Hammerson happy with England reopening, rent collection hits 40%, hires new CFO
With the retail lights back on in England, UK property giant Hammerson said Tuesday initial footfall since the 12 April reopening has been “encouraging” and “competitive with pre-pandemic levels” with around 90% of its operators currently able to trade.
“Across a seven-day average, footfall at our flagships is around four-fifths of that achieved in the same week in April 2019. This is an improvement of approaching 50% points on reopening in June 2020”, Hammerson, which operates the Bullring in Birmingham and Biscester Village in Oxfordshire, said in a trading update.
It added that in Scotland, around 30% of its occupiers are currently trading, ahead of the anticipated reopening on 26 April.
But the news on rent collection wasn’t quite as upbeat with “market conditions hav[ing] remained challenging since our results update in early March”.
At group level, it said 40% of Q2 2021 rent due has been received to date, with the UK collecting 48%, France 23%, and Ireland 34%. An aggregate 46% of H1 2021 rent due has been received.
However, it added: “Looking forward to when all occupiers are able to operate, we expect collection rates for both the current year and FY20 to continue to improve as restrictions are eased across territories”.
Separately, Hammerson also said Tuesday it has appointed Himanshu Raja chief financial officer and executive director. He succeeds James Lenton who will step down from both roles when Himanshu joins on 26 April.
Himanshu was most recently CFO at estate agent Countrywide from 2017 until its sale to Connells in March.
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