David Fischel, intu Chief Executive, commented:
“In a year which will be remembered for its political turbulence, intu is pleased to have recorded a strong set of results with six per cent growth in underlying earnings per share, an increased dividend and stable property values, leaving net assets per share (diluted, adjusted) unchanged at 404 pence.
We ended the year with £922 million of cash and available facilities, well placed to pursue our pipeline of active management projects, development and acquisition opportunities both in the UK and Spain.
The power and recognition of the intu brand is our major differentiator. With our focus on compelling customer experiences and family friendly fun day-out destinations, we are continuing to meet the demands of the changing retail world, recording increased footfall and 96 per cent occupancy.
Major retailers including Zara and New Look have upsized and upgraded existing units and rolled out more of their exciting brands in our prime regional centres. We welcomed international brands such as Victoria’s Secret together with the expansion of premium fashion and lifestyle brands such as Jack Wills, Cath Kidston and Joules. In all, our tenants invested around £100 million in new shops and refits over the year which is a significant commitment to our centres.
While the environment for business this year is likely to be challenging as the full impact emerges of the UK’s EU referendum vote, we are well positioned as we focus on top quality assets in prime locations with high occupancy and strong footfall. The dividend increase reflects the results for the year and our confidence in intu’s prospects. We intend to deliver continuing growth in like-for-like net rental income over the coming years.”