Hammerson's strong recovery continues
After a year of well-documented fundamental changes for Hammerson, how’s the UK-based commercial property giant performing?
On Friday, it reported a “strong" footfall recovery “in all territories” when restrictions were relaxed with occupier sales ahead of footfall; “strong” demand for prime space with flagship leasing value of £25 million, up 150% on 2020; flagship occupancy improving to 96% from 93% at half year; and “strong” momentum on leasing into 2022.
But “we have more to do”, its chief executive Rita-Rose Gagné admitted Friday as the company reported results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2021, although a lot has been achieved so far.
Take £623 million worth of disposals of non-core operations in its bid to focus on prime urban estates, alongside a “significantly strengthening” balance sheet. Here, annual losses were cut to £429 million from £1.7 billion in the previous year.
The company also reported earnings up 122% to £81 million from £37 million a year ago. Although gross rental income fell to £241.6 million from £287 million, this was due to a host of disposals during the year. That helped reduce net debt, down 19% to £1.8 billion while there is “ample” liquidity of £1.5 billion in undrawn committed facilities and cash.
While having admitting the business “needed radical change to adapt and thrive”, Gagné now noted: “The pandemic has accelerated trends in our operating environment, with people engaging with physical space in new ways. Our role is to create and curate relevant, appealing and sustainable spaces for the future.
“We are now focused on new ways of working, agility, innovation, and ultimately on driving performance.”
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