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Hammerson Gets Less Than Half Of Q1 Rent As COVID-19 Curbs Tighten

London-based shopping center operator Hammerson Plc said on Tuesday it received less than half of the rents due for the first quarter as stricter COVID-19 restrictions aggravate conditions in Britain's high streets and the rest of Europe.

The lockdowns have battered mall operators as their struggling tenants have been squeezed by stay-at-home shoppers, amid calls for rent relief and deferrals.

Hammerson, which runs shopping malls such as the Bullring in Birmingham, said 41% of first-quarter rent due had been received at the group level, with the UK collecting similar levels for the period.

Takeaway Services 

The company said its destinations in France have been impacted by evening curfew, while the Ireland flagships are only offering essential retail and takeaway or delivery services.

Hammerson, which pointed to some recovery during the holiday season, said the new lockdown has shut about three-quarters of its occupiers in the UK and caused a drop in footfall.

Last week, real estate firm British Land also said it had received less than half of the rent its retailers owed during the holiday quarter.

Hammerson said it has waived £21 million or less than 10% of the £265.2 million owed by the tenants, for fiscal 2020.

Shares of the FTSE 250 firm were about 1% higher in early trade.

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

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