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By
Reuters API
Published
Aug 5, 2021
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Hammerson H1 profit rises slightly, but footfall woes linger

By
Reuters API
Published
Aug 5, 2021

British mall operator Hammerson on Thursday reported a 14% rise in half-year adjusted profit thanks to a retail recovery following the easing of lockdowns and lower costs, but warned that footfall was yet to rebound to pre-pandemic levels.


Reuters



The British government in June extended a ban on commercial evictions until March 2022, even as mall operators heavily exposed to non-essential retail tenants were battered by months of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Landlords have been forced to rework rental agreements and offer concessions on plunging demand and asset valuations, while a recent spike in COVID-19 cases has brought back restrictions in some places including France, where Hammerson has operations.

The debt-laden firm's adjusted earnings rose to £20.1 million ($27.90 million) for the six months ended June 30, from £17.7 million a year earlier.

IFRS loss narrowed to £376 million from £1.09 billion in the pandemic-hit comparable period in 2020. In 2019, Hammerson reported £107.4 million in adjusted earnings and £319.8 million in IFRS loss.

"We are focused on continuing to de-lever the balance sheet through disposals of non-core assets, creating a leaner and more agile organisation," Chief Executive Officer Rita-Rose Gagné said in a statement.

The firm said half-year EPRA net tangible assets per share, a key metric for the sector, fell 16% to 69p, adding that footfall was averaging at 75% of 2019 levels.

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