David Fischel, intu Chief Executive, commented:
“During a period of weakening sentiment in the retail market which has impacted prime shopping centre valuations, intu has delivered a resilient operational performance in the first half of 2018. This reflects the high quality of our business which was able to perform in a challenging retail environment.
Our occupancy level remains high at 97 per cent with aggregate lettings 6 per cent ahead of previous rents.
Like-for-like net rental income grew for the fourth consecutive year, by 1.3 per cent in the period, driven by new lettings and rent reviews, despite a 0.9 per cent hit from tenant failures.
We agreed 116 long term leases amounting to GBP16 million of annual rent to a number of new international entrants, as well as established key fashion brands such as Zara, River Island, Abercrombie & Fitch, Jo Malone, Jack Wills and The White Company.
We look forward to the opening of the GBP180 million intu Watford extension in October, followed by the GBP72 million intu Lakeside leisure extension in the first half of next year.
The Spanish business again had a strong six months with high occupancy and strong letting activity.
intu is the UK’s only national consumer facing shopping centre brand with a growing digital presence, attracting 400 million customer visits per annum, with over half the UK population visiting an intu centre each year.
intu centres are in prime locations with high footfall and offer plenty of opportunities to increase density through additional mixed use developments. They have remained prime because we have always adapted and responded vigorously to the ever changing retail environment with continued investment and creative asset management satisfying the needs of retailers.”