Sunday 23 October 2016

Dundrum owner happy with its post-Brexit trade

Published 26/07/2016 | 02:30

Dundrum Town Centre
Dundrum Town Centre

Dundrum-owner Hammerson has been pleased by the level of leasing and investment activity since the EU referendum in the UK, its chief executive has said.

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Rental income at the UK-leasing firm has risen by 5.1pc to £167.7m (€200.2m) in the first six months of its financial year.

Hammerson alongside Allianz Real Estate completed the joint venture takeover of Dundrum Town Centre in July after concluding a consensual borrower agreement with previous owners Chartered Land.

Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said he was pleased to deliver a set of "solid results" for the six-month period ending June 30.

"We have confidence in the resilience of our business model, which will underpin our ability to deliver robust income returns during and beyond this period of political and economic uncertainty in the UK," Mr Atkins said.

"We believe our European diversity, best in class retail portfolio and low capital commitments positions us to produce consistent operational results, as we have done in recent years."

Profit including valuation charges fell by 50.2pc to £162.5m in the period. Hammerson said the major deviation in profit was down to one-off gains and losses made on the sale of properties as well as financing costs. The company's property portfolio rose in value by 7pc to £8.96bn.

Earnings per share at the firm jumped by 5.1pc to 14.3p while the interim dividend per share rose by 6.3pc to 10.1p.

In October Hammerson alongside Allianz purchased loans secured against a portfolio of assets that included Dundrum, the Pavilions in Swords, and the Ilac Centre from Nama.

In order to manage its Irish assets Hammerson has opened a new office in Dublin that will integrate the portfolio into its existing operating structure.

Dundrum, the prize asset of Project Jewel, has a 99pc occupancy rate, which is set to improve with the addition of burger chain Five Guys and a potential expansion of Brown Thomas.

The Irish franchising rights of Five Guys is owned by the Desmond brothers who signed a lease to bring it to Dundrum in October of this year.

Brown Thomas has also entered into talks to double the size of its BT2 store in the shopping centre after the lease ends on its Grafton Street outlet.

Shares in Hammerson were hit by the Brexit vote, falling by around 7pc since June 23.

Irish Independent

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