Hammerson reopens in England, Ireland, France, but rent issues remain
Major British retail landlord Hammerson issued an update on Wednesday that showed reopenings in England, Ireland and France are well under way, but it has been struggling to collect rents from some retail tenants.
Hammerson controls or has major stakes in a raft of flagship properties including the Bullring and Bicester Village, plus key full-price and outlet malls in France and the Republic of Ireland.
It said that as of June 29, it had collected 73% of H1 2020 rent in the UK, 53% in France and 72% in Ireland. At the same date, it had collected 16% of Q3 rent in the UK, while it’s “too early to comment on France and Ireland”.
It also said it has taken steps to improve its liquidity position via the UK’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and other measures, “enabling the company to focus on continued delivery of its strategy”.
It’s under pressure from its tenants to offer more favourable rent deals and said that “all discussions with brands regarding rent deferrals, monthly payments, and waivers have been on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the business model, risk profile and ability of the occupier to pay, alongside the support made available by the relevant governments”.
As far as reopenings are concerned, in England, 80% of stores which are eligible to trade in flagship destinations have reopened, while Irish centres have been fully open since 15 June.
In France, half its flagship destinations reopened from 11-13 May, and all have been trading since 2 June. All brands and food & beverage operators within the French flagships are now trading with the exception of the theatre and concert hall at Italie Deux, Paris.
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