Hammerson momentum continues with strong Q1 sales, footfall


Hammerson can take a positive position when it faces its shareholders in nine days time as sales and footfall continued to strengthen in Q1. 


The commercial property giant’s chief executive Rita-Rose Gagné spoke of having “a strong operational grip, which is delivering top-line growth” in a trading update for the three months ended 31 March, ahead its 4 May AGM.

There is also “continued momentum in leasing and a strong pipeline” to tell its backers, alongside further reduced costs and “more to come as we create a sustainable and agile platform”.

The owner or part-owner/operator of the Bullring/Grand Central in Birmingham, Bicester Village Designer Outlet Centre in Oxfordshire and key shopping centres across Europe said its strong Q1 performance was underpinned by a 5% growth in like-for-like
gross rental income “reflecting robust leasing” and higher footfall.

Like-for-like net rental income was also up 5% benefiting from solid collections, lower bad debt charges and tenant incentive impairments, it added.

It also noted that Bicester owner Value Retail has seen a strong start to the year with spend per visit up 3%.

This was backed up by improving footfall in the UK, up 6% year-on-year, and Ireland performing an even better 13%.

Hammerson sales in the UK for the opening quarter are up 6% year-on-year and by 7% in Ireland. Value Retail footfall was also up an impressive14% year-on-year with sales for the sector leaping 17%.

More positives include gross administration costs falling 13% year-on-year, in line with its commitment to reduce these by 20% by the end of 2024.

Meanwhile momentum was maintained on the leasing front with 61 deals signed year-to-date, representing £9 million of rent on a 100% basis.

Headline rent is 18% ahead of previous passing rent, and 5% ahead of ERV on a net effective basis.

Elsewhere, Hammerson said it has also exited minority stakes in France and other non-core interests, bringing total disposals since the start of 2021 to over £840 million, allowing it to maintain a “sharper focus on our core portfolio of city centre assets”.  

Gagné added: “Looking forward, we have strong momentum.”

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