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Hammerson collects only 47pc of rent at its Irish operations

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'Shares gained 7.3pc in London trade yesterday to close at 86 pence (€0.95)' (stock image)

'Shares gained 7.3pc in London trade yesterday to close at 86 pence (€0.95)' (stock image)

REUTERS

'Shares gained 7.3pc in London trade yesterday to close at 86 pence (€0.95)' (stock image)

Dundrum Town Centre co-owner Hammerson collected just 47pc of the rent from its Irish operations in the second quarter of this year.

The company, which also co-owns the Swords Pavilion and Ilac centre in Dublin said the balance for the outstanding rent was "in negotiation".

This comes as thousands of shops across the country were forced to close temporarily due to restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19.

Hammerson's Irish assets represent 10pc of the group's portfolio by value. Dundrum, in turn, accounts for two-thirds of the Irish arm's value.

Overall, the company collected 72pc of its rent here for the first half of this year. As of June 29, it had collected 73pc of its half-year rent in the UK and 53pc from the retail outlets it operates in France.

Meanwhile, Hammerson has collected just 16pc of rents due in the UK during the third quarter at June-end, as retailers reeled under pressure with the lockdown denting sales.

Hammerson said it is "too early" to comment on third-quarter rent collection figures for Ireland and France.

The British company said it has received approval for issuance of up to £300m (€330m) under the UK government's Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), raising its maximum liquidity to £1.5bn. "The company is confident that collection rates will continue to improve materially in all regions as agreements are progressed with brands."

Rival Intu Properties was forced to bring in administrators last week after failing to secure a deal with creditors, news that sent Hammerson's stock price up to 15pc lower. Intu, the UK's biggest shopping centre operator, was already struggling with a hefty debt load, but the Covid-19 crisis ravaged rent payments and proved the final straw.

Colm Lauder, an analyst at Goodbody Stockbrokers, said the Hammerson trading update "reads positively".

"The Q3 rent performance (in the UK) was expected to be weak, but Q2 was better than expected," Mr Lauder said.

"The increased liquidity provided by the CCFF plus the headroom secured by the renegotiation of Hammerson's most restrictive covenant is a welcome boost. Proof of flexibility being offered from Hammerson's lenders is a strong signal in the wake of Intu's failure last week."

Shares gained 7.3pc in London trade yesterday to close at 86 pence (€0.95).

Additional reporting Reuters

Irish Independent