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Hammerson Appoints CFO As England Mall Visitors Return

Published on Apr 20 2021 10:50 AM in Retail tagged: Trending Posts / Hammerson / Dundrum

Hammerson Appoints CFO As England Mall Visitors Return

Hammerson which owns Dundrum Town Centre on Tuesday named a new finance chief and said the number of visitors at its shopping malls in England in the past week had risen to around 80% of 2019 levels after restrictions were eased.

Malls, restaurants and pubs were allowed to reopen on 12 April in England after multiple lockdowns in the past year.

The owner of the Brent Cross shopping centre and the Bullring in Birmingham said footfall in the past week was at about 80% of levels seen in April 2019 as it looks to recover from lockdowns which slashed sales last year.

So far it had collected 40% of the second-quarter rents that are due at group level, Hammerson said.

In France and other regions where Hammerson operates, however, it said market conditions remained challenging as it still faces pandemic-related restrictions. Hammerson's portfolio spans seven countries.

Its London-listed shares were down 3.4% by 0816 GMT.

New Appointment

The company named Himanshu Raja as its new chief financial officer (CFO) to support CEO Rita-Rose Gagné's strategic review of the business.

Raja was most recently CFO at real estate agent Countrywide and previously held that post at private security firm G4S.

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified problems for retailers battling against online rivals as lockdowns boost online spending.

Hammerson has been overhauling its business, raising equity, and selling some of its portfolio as it tries to fix its balance sheet. It reported a £1.7 billion loss in 2020.

Last week it said it was in talks to sell its retail parks portfolio to Canadian private equity firm Brookfield Asset Management.

Analysts said the company would need to make further disposals.

News by Reuters additional reporting and edited by Donna Ahern Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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