CSC’s resilience tested by tenant failures

Trafford Centre owner Capital Shopping Centres saw like-for-like net rental income drop 2.3% in the first half due to the number of tenants ceasing trading.

Occupancy levels remained strong at 95%, down slightly from 97% in December 2011. Footfall was down 1% on the year to date.

CSC signed 79 new leases across its portfolio, worth £15m in annual rent, 6% above previous passing rent and in line with valuations.

In Trafford, Hugo Boss is doubling its space and Forever 21 has opened.

CSC said it is starting to implement plans for the 2013 rent reviews as leases expire at Trafford Centre, along with Cribbs Causeway and The Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent.

The group has a £1bn ten-year pipeline of development projects including major extensions.
Planning consent is in place at Barton Square in the Trafford Centre for 100,000 sq ft of additional retail space.

CSC has also agreed terms, subject to planning permission, for an aquarium attraction at Barton Square.

Group borrowing was unchanged at 48% loan to value; cash and available facilities of £420m.

Announcing the half-year results on Thursday, David Fischel, chief executive of CSC, said: "Our prime UK regional shopping centres have continued to show considerable resilience, with robust operating metrics supporting sound financial results. We have made good progress on our two strategic priorities for 2012, ensuring that our centres produce a strong performance relative to current economic conditions while positioning each asset for longer term organic growth from an increasing pipeline of active management projects and extensions."

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