Agile Hammerson getting back to its best, slashes losses
A strong list of trading positives for the year had Hammerson feeling upbeat Thursday. Its chief executive Rita-Rose Gagné spoke of a “better, more agile, and resilient business” firmly moving on from those dark days of the pandemic.
Headline news for the owner/operator of the Bullring/Grand Central in Birmingham, Bicester Village Designer Outlet Centre in Oxfordshire and key shopping centres across Europe, was that losses in 2022 were slashed, there was a significant increase in adjusted earnings, all bolstered by positive footfall and sales trends, as the business “simplified and focused the core portfolio on city centres” over the past two years.
Losses narrowed to £164 million from £429 million in 2021, largely due to a £282 million revaluation deficit. Adjusted earnings at the group rose 60% to £105 million as a result of lower costs and ongoing “strong” recovery in footfall and sales in its value retail division.
Footfall improved by 11 percentage points across the January-December 2022 period, with footfall now at 90% of pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2022. Footfall for the whole of 2022 was up 39% year-on-year across its portfolio (UK +41%, France +36% and Ireland +35%).
Importantly, it noted that positive footfall and sales trends have continued into the first few months of 2023.
While footfall was still below 2019 levels, sales remained 3% ahead of pre-pandemic levels, with footfall and purchasing habits maintaining momentum in the first few months of this year.
“Our results are evidence of another year of significant strategic, operational and financial progress, against a volatile macroeconomic and market backdrop,” added Gagné.
“Looking forward, we have strong momentum and are well placed to deliver another year of robust adjusted earnings and cashflow in 2023.”
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