Hammerson upbeat as it takes controlling stake in Bicester Village
Global shopping centre giant Hammerson released its 2017 results on Monday and said that “record leasing” drove a strong performance. It also announced that it has taken its minority stake in the giant Bicester Village outlet mall to over 50%.
CEO David Atkins said that its focus in recent years towards “high footfall destinations in major cities across the UK and Europe has underpinned our strong financial success at a time of on-going structural change in retail.”
He said net rental income rose 6.9% to £370.4 million and adjusted profit was up 6.8% to £246.3 million for the year as group occupancy hit a 17-year high at 98.3%.
Coming ahead of the planned merger with Intu, that’s good news and highlights how Hammerson's focus on the more popular shopping malls and centres is helping it overcome an otherwise-weak environment for physical store locations.
Hammerson’s properties include (among many others) Brent Cross, Victoria Gate, The Bullring, Espace Saint-Quentin, and Nicetoile, plus that now-more-than-half share in Bicester Village, and shares in other premium European outlet malls.
David Atkins added: “Not all retail is equal and not all locations are well placed to support the future needs of brands. But with 440 million visitors a year, our unrivalled consumer insight and relationship with retailers ensures that we target the next generation of brands, as we proactively rotate retailers and expand winning formats.”
He said that "consumer confidence in France and Ireland is strong and our unique position in the premium outlets sector continues to deliver impressive growth,” adding that the raised stake in Bicester Village is part of a strategy that puts the firm “in a strong position to respond to the current consumer conditions in the UK.”
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