David Fischel, Chief Executive, commented:
“We are pleased to report a strong set of results for the first six months of 2016 with a 10 per cent increase in underlying earnings per share driven by excellent growth in net rental income of 7.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis. We have therefore raised our guidance for full year like-for-like net rental income growth to 3 to 4 per cent”.
“Letting activity was also very positive leading to an improved occupancy ratio of 96 per cent. Our established retailers, such as Zara and Next, have been upsizing space and we have welcomed new lifestyle brands and international retailers at a time when the supply of quality retail space is limited. We continue to focus on strengthening and improving our prime regional shopping centres, introducing new leisure concepts and increasing the dwell time of our 400 million customer visits per year”.
“With over £500 million of cash and available facilities, we are well positioned to take opportunities when they arise, such as the acquisition in the period of the other half of intu Merry Hill which adds to the considerable momentum from our active asset management and development projects, both in the UK and Spain.”