Intu confident of seasonal uplift

Trafford Centre owner Intu Properties said 84 new leases were signed in the third quarter of the year across the mall group’s portfolio.

Intu told the stock exchange it was on target for a return to like-for-like net rental income growth for the year as a whole (H1 2015: -1.0%) through improved lettings and rising occupancy.

The 84 new long-term leases totalled £18m of new annual rent, 11% above previous passing rent. Occupancy increased slightly since 30 June 2015 to 95.5%. Year-on-year footfall to date is marginally up in the UK.

Intu’s digital offering progresses with the way-finding and promotional offers app successfully trialled at the recent student nights before its national launch across all Intu centres.

Cash and available facilities stand at £550m and the debt-to-asset ratio was 44% at 30 September 2015.

David Fischel, chief executive, commented: “The economic recovery is now more obviously rippling out from London and the South East to other regions of the UK and our prime centres across the country are seeing strengthening underlying retailer sales performance.

“As this translates into improved demand for space and rising occupancy, we look forward to a return to like-for-like net rental income growth for 2015 and are well positioned for a more meaningful uplift next year. We have successfully completed development projects in Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent in the period and our investment programme continues to gather momentum both in the UK and Spain.”

In the Trafford Centre, New Look Men, a new standalone menswear concept launched by New Look, with a plan to open five stores nationally this year, was among the leases signed in Q3.

Shares in Intu were down 2% to 329p on Monday morning.

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