Hammerson increases its 2015 interim dividend by 8%

DividendMax Ltd.

Hammerson increases its 2015 interim dividend by 8%

Operational highlights - consistent income generation

Improving consumer confidence and prime positioning of our UK shopping centres generated growth in sales of 2.0% and footfall up 1.2%

Group LfL NRI increased by 2.1% (3.0% including premium outlets) driven by continued demand for high-quality retail and leisure space

UK shopping centres ERV growth of 3.3% (rolling 12 months) through securing leading international brands and actively managing assets under our Product Framework

Further proactive re-tenanting in France; £3.3 million of new rent secured; introduction of new international retailers to France

Premium outlets sales growth of 12% YoY; VIA Outlets repositioning strategy produced sales densities up 13% YoY

Relocation of corporate HQ to modern premises at King's Cross; cost:income ratio reduced to 22.4%

Financial highlights - maintaining capital strength

Strong EPS growth of 13.3%; interim dividend increased 8.0%

The Group's total portfolio generated a 5.7% total return, including revaluation gains of £233 million

New £415 million five-year unsecured revolving credit facility at an initial margin of 80 basis points; WAIR reduced to 4.1%

Robust balance sheet with loan to value of 33%; cash and undrawn facilities of £450 million

Portfolio highlights - enhancing high-quality property

10,900m2 Silverburn catering and leisure extension fully opened; dwell time up 14% lifting LfL centre sales by 5%

On track to deliver three further schemes in 2015 at Beauvais, Merthyr Tydfil and Rugby; total new space of 64,900m2 to be opened this year

Taking advantage of good investment markets to make selective disposals; £155 million capital recycled to enhance shareholder returns

Significant progress made at our three major London schemes: CPO inquiry at Croydon completed; CPO process initiated at Brent Cross; planning amendments submitted at The Goodsyard

David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson, said: "The business has performed very well in the first half, underpinned by robust consumer confidence and an active asset management strategy resulting in sector-beating earnings growth of 13%. Our prime assets continue to attract retailer demand from some of the most sought after brands, lifting ERV growth across the portfolio. In France, our business has proved resilient against a consumer backdrop which remains challenging, reflecting the success of new developments and refurbishments together with our re-tenanting strategy. 

"We have made good progress with our on-site and pipeline developments, and remain on track to open four schemes in 2015. In premium outlets we are already seeing positive results from the specialised management of the VIA portfolio and remain excited about our strategic exposure to this high growth sector. Looking ahead, the business is well positioned to benefit from continuing momentum across our key markets and to deliver attractive and sustainable returns for shareholders."

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