David Fischel, intu Chief Executive, commented:
“intu has performed robustly over the six month period in a UK retail environment which continues to be challenging. Retail brands are being selective in their expansion, looking at established locations such as our 17 prime shopping centres which are attracting high footfall through their differentiated offering and compelling customer experience.
The resilience of the tenant market in our centres is shown by our 103 lettings in the period at 7 per cent above previous passing rents, including brands such as Next, River Island, Hugo Boss, Gant, Paul Smith, Victoria’s Secret and Tesla. Also our tenants continue to invest in up sizing and upgrading their units which has resulted in maintained high occupancy.
Our £679 million UK development programme is progressing on schedule with the £180 million intu Watford extension on target to open in Autumn 2018. We expect to start shortly on the £71 million intu Lakeside leisure extension which is over 90 per cent let to tenants including Nickelodeon, Hollywood Bowl and multiple restaurants.
Our Spanish business continues to perform well and intu now owns three of the country’s top ten shopping centres. During the period, we acquired Madrid Xanadú for €530 million, a centre which has strong leisure attractions including an indoor ski slope, with an aquarium and Nickelodeon theme park attraction under construction.
We have a clear strategy to deliver long-term value to shareholders and, with cash and available facilities amounting to £920 million, we have significant flexibility to pursue opportunities as they arise in the UK and Spain.”