Commercial property giant Hammerson has reported a strong first quarter with increased sales and footfall, signaling a positive outlook for the company. CEO Rita-Rose Gagné highlighted the company’s “strong operational grip” as a key factor in their top-line growth. The company also saw continued momentum in leasing and has a robust pipeline of future projects. Hammerson has successfully reduced costs and is focused on creating a sustainable and agile platform.

The company’s performance was driven by a 5% growth in like-for-like gross rental income, reflecting strong leasing activity and higher footfall. Like-for-like net rental income also increased by 5%, benefiting from solid collections and lower charges for bad debts and tenant incentives. Bicester Village Designer Outlet Centre, part of Hammerson’s portfolio, saw a strong start to the year with a 3% increase in spend per visit.

Footfall in the UK increased by 6% year-on-year, while Ireland experienced an even higher increase of 13%. Hammerson’s sales in the UK rose by 6% in the first quarter, and by 7% in Ireland. Value Retail, a part of Hammerson’s portfolio, reported a significant increase in footfall of 14%, leading to a 17% increase in sales for the sector. The company has successfully reduced its gross administration costs by 13% year-on-year, in line with its commitment to cost reduction.

Hammerson has been active in the leasing market, signing 61 deals so far this year that will generate £9 million of rental income. Headline rent for these deals is 18% higher than the previous rental rate and 5% higher than the Estimated Rental Value (ERV) on a net effective basis. The company has also divested itself from minority stakes in France and other non-core interests, amounting to over £840 million in total disposals since the beginning of 2021. This strategic move allows Hammerson to focus more on its core portfolio of city center assets.

CEO Rita-Rose Gagné expressed confidence in the company’s future, stating, “Looking forward, we have strong momentum.” With solid performance in the first quarter and a positive outlook, Hammerson is well-prepared to address its shareholders at the upcoming meeting. The company’s commitment to growth, cost reduction, and a sustainable platform positions it for continued success in the competitive commercial property market.

1. Hammerson Official Website
2. Value Retail Official Website