Dundrum Town Centre-owner Hammerson reported on Friday a smaller annual loss and a drop in debt levels, as the retail property sector recovers from COVID-19 pandemic-led shop closures and rent collapses in Britain's high streets and rest of Europe.
Commercial real estate firms heavily exposed to non-essential retail tenants were battered by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, hurting valuations of their properties amid steep fall in rental income.
'Tangible Results From Its Strategy'
"We are already seeing the tangible results from our strategy with strong occupier leasing demand, reduced vacancies, improved collections, a lower cost base and clear path to value creation from our land bank," Rita-Rose Gagné, chief executive officer said in a statement.
Hammerson, which has been actively selling non-core assets, said its net debt fell to £1.82 billion ($2.43 billion) as at 31 December, £415 million lower than levels at the start of 2021.
The FTSE 250-listed firm, which runs shopping malls such as the Bullring in Birmingham and Italie Deux in Paris, said annual gross rental income was 242 million pounds, down £45 million pounds year-on-year, largely due to disposals.
Brent Cross Shopping Centre
The owner of the Brent Cross shopping centre also said its loss for the year ended 31 December 2021 was £429.1 million, compared with a loss of £1.73 billion a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, annual profit more than doubled to £81 million from £37 million a year earlier.