The Trafford Centre has taken the No. 1 spot for the fifth year running.

Intu optimistic in interim results

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Trafford Centre owner Intu Properties has seen an increase in interest from retailers for new brands and flagship stores across its portfolio.

In an interim management statement for the period 1 January 2014 to 8 May 2014, the company said it had a 95% occupancy rate and a 1% increase in footfall than the same period in 2013, against an Experian prediction of no change year on year.

The company had also secured 50 new long term leases across its portfolio for £8.1m of annual passing rent. This includes 13 catering lettings, with the opening of Five Guys at the Trafford Centre this month.

The market value of Intu's properties was stated as £8.5bn. In April Intu announced that it had completed the £868m purchase of interests in two UK shopping centres, Intu Merry Hill in Birmingham and Intu Derby, and the Sprucefield retail park near Lisburn. The purchases were funded by a rights issue raising £500m and £424m of debt facilities secured on the properties.

David Fischel, chief executive of Intu, said: "The strong momentum of our development projects continues, with signs of increased retailer interest as the UK retail environment continues to improve, particularly for space in those centres where investment and improvement projects are underway or imminent."

Intu's annual results in February revealed an increase in overall profits last year to £364m, up significantly from £159m in 2012. The £205m leap was due to a revaluation in Intu's property and financial assets.

Intu shares were up 2.9p to 298.5p.

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