Tuesday 23 October 2018

Hammerson to report figures after eventful few months

The Bull Ring firm also owns the Bicester Village and Brent Cross shopping centres.

Black Friday
Black Friday

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Hammerson is expected to shed further light on future plans next week after having rejected a takeover approach from European rival Klepierre and standing by plans to seal a £3.4 billion tie-up with Intu.

The shopping centre giant will issue a trading update on Thursday, just weeks after disclosing the approach from France’s Klepierre.

At the time, Hammerson branded the £4.88 billion cash-and-shares offer “wholly inadequate” and “entirely opportunistic”.

The Bull Ring owner instead wants to press ahead with an all-share takeover of rival Intu, which would create Britain’s biggest property company with £21 billion worth of assets across Europe.

Intu operates the Trafford Centre in Manchester, while Hammerson owns the Bicester Village and Brent Cross shopping centres.

City analysts will be expecting an explanation for Hammerson’s thinking.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “It’s been a rollercoaster few months at FTSE 100-listed Hammerson.

“In rejecting the offer (from Klepierre), Hammerson’s board described it as ‘unsolicited and entirely opportunistic’.

“Next week’s update will give the group a platform to show exactly why.”

The trading update will come at a tough time for Hammerson, which has been relegated to the FTSE 250 Index after seeing its share price slide in response to market concerns over the woes on the high street.

Last month, the company announced a 6.9% rise in net rental income for the year to December 31 to £370.4 million, up from £346.5 million a year earlier.

Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said: “It has been an eventful past few months for the commercial property developer.

“All of this has occurred against a difficult background for property developers focused on the retail sector, with signs of weaker sales on the high street due to ongoing popularity of internet usage.”

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