Hammerson, a leading commercial property company, has announced its impressive financial performance in its half-year trading update. The company reported a profit of £50.3 million in the six months ending June 30th, which is a significant turnaround from the £375.5 million loss it experienced during the same period last year. Adjusted earnings also saw a remarkable increase of 154% to £51 million. This improvement can be attributed to a 48% rise in like-for-like net rental income, lower administration and finance costs, and the strong contributions from its Value Retail holding.

A key factor contributing to Hammerson’s success is the recovery in footfall, which has nearly reached pre-pandemic levels. By the end of the second quarter, footfall had strengthened to 90% of the levels seen in 2019. This is an encouraging indicator that consumer confidence is returning, and people are once again visiting shopping centers and retail destinations. Furthermore, sales, occupancy rates, and rent collection have also shown improvement and are approaching pre-pandemic levels.

Aside from its financial achievements, Hammerson has made significant progress in its strategic goals. The company has successfully completed £194 million of disposals, reducing its net debt by 6%. It also anticipates an additional £300 million of disposals to be finalized by the end of 2023. Although revenue experienced a slight decrease from £65.3 million to £62 million, overall sales are gradually reaching 2019 levels and even surpassed 2019 levels in the second quarter.

Rita-Rose Gagné, the Chief Executive of Hammerson, expressed her satisfaction with the company’s performance in the first half of the year. She highlighted the strengthening tenant profile, a robust leasing pipeline for the second half, and high occupancy levels across their destinations. Gagné also emphasized that the company’s actions since the beginning of 2021 have ensured its resilience and financial security.

While acknowledging potential future volatility, Gagné remains optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead for Hammerson. She believes the company has identified the necessary levers within its control to continue creating value and envisions a promising future for the business.

Hammerson’s return to profit and the recovery of footfall to near pre-pandemic levels bring positive news to the retail property market. The company’s strong financial performance and strategic progress position it favorably for future growth and success. As consumer confidence continues to strengthen and restrictions ease, Hammerson holds an optimistic outlook for the opportunities that await.

Useful links:
1. Hammerson Official Website
2. BBC News (for more updates on the retail industry)