Hammerson happy with improving mall trade, footfall recovering
Trading continues to improve for Hammerson, the commercial property giant said Thursday. So much so, the owner/operator of the Bullring & Grand Central malls in Birmingham and the Bicester Village Designer Outlet Centre in Oxfordshire now expects adjusted earnings for FY21 to range from £75 million to £80 million, ahead of the minimum of £60 million it previously expected.
Meanwhile, gross rental income is "ahead of expectations" across the group's managed portfolio, while Value Retail “delivered a stronger-than-expected Q4 performance”, it also noted.
And that is being achieved despite some government restrictions that were reintroduced during the key Christmas trading period, so footfall in the UK and Ireland softened marginally, it admitted.
But overall, “footfall recovered strongly during the year, particularly when restrictions were eased”. And that meant “some destinations exceeding 2019 levels and consistently exceeding national indices”. Fortunately, this trend has continued in 2022 to date, it also said.
IUK sales remained strong around Christmas, at 97% of 2019 levels in November and 93% in December. Footfall at Value Retail in Q4 was just under 90% of comparable 2019 levels, with brand sales approaching 95%, and spend per visit marginally ahead.
And rent collections? It said while FY20 collections stood at 97% of billable rent, FY21 collections so far are at 88% and Q1 FY22 collections to date dipped to 74%.
“As with the last two quarters, the UK remains the strongest performer with 78% of rent collected [and] Ireland stands at 75%. “We expect collection rates to continue to improve as we go through the quarter”, it added.
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