Ham­mer­son is de­lighted with SA in­vestor in­ter­est

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Roy Cokayne

SOUTH African in­vestors in prop­erty com­pany Ham­mer­son, which ob­tained a se­condary list­ing on the JSE in Septem­ber, al­ready ac­count for 13 per­cent of the com­pany’s global share reg­is­ter.

Ham­mer­son chief ex­ec­u­tive David Atkins said yes­ter­day that they were de­lighted with the de­mand and in­ter­est in­vestors in the coun­try had shown in Ham­mer­son’s busi­ness.

Atkins added that the South African share­hold­ers ob­vi­ously added to what was al­ready a global share reg­is­ter, with Ham­mer­son also hav­ing sig­nif­i­cant share­hold­ers in the US, Europe and the Far East.

He said the at­trac­tion of Ham­mer­son to in­vestors was its di­ver­si­fied in­vest­ment class re­tail port­fo­lio, which had pro­vided a very healthy level of in­come growth of be­tween 6 per­cent and 8 per­cent over the past five to six years. “That is go­ing to con­tinue over the next few years – a very healthy in­come stream,” he said.

The com­pany, a FTSE 100 Euro­pean re­tail prop­erty spe­cial­ist, had a port­fo­lio that was val­ued at £10.5 bil­lion (R178bn) at end-June.

It owns, man­ages and de­vel­ops re­tail prop­erty and its port­fo­lio in­cludes in­vest­ments in prime shop­ping cen­tres in the UK, in­clud­ing 10 of the UK’s top 50 shop­ping cen­tres, France and Ire­land; con­ve­nient re­tail parks in the UK; and pre­mium out­lets across Europe through in­vest­ments in Value Re­tail and VIA out­lets.

Atkins said pre­mium out­lets, a global real es­tate for­mat, were gen­er­ally open-air vil­lages that were de­signed with a high class ar­chi­tec­tural of­fer and com­prised rel­a­tively small bou­tiques that were leased to pre­mium brands for sale of high qual­ity in­ven­tory at re­duced prices and op­er­ated on the ba­sis that the rental was tied to turnover lev­els.

He said pre­mium out­lets tended to be linked to a cap­i­tal city and Ham­mer­son had in­vest­ment in 20 out­lets across 13 coun­tries around Europe.

“They are an at­trac­tion to do­mes­tic shop­pers and global trav­ellers. They have a high level of sales to in­ter­na­tional tourists, at some out­lets of more than 50 per­cent,” he said.

Driven by record leas­ing ac­tiv­ity and strong per­for­mances from the com­pany’s Ire­land and pre­mium out­lets port­fo­lio, Ham­mer­son yes­ter­day re­ported a 74.9 per­cent growth in ba­sic earn­ing a share to 36.2p (R6.13) for the six months to June from 20.7p in the pre­vi­ous cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod.

This in­cluded port­fo­lio non-cash reval­u­a­tion gains of £188m com­pared to £78m in the prior pe­riod. Ad­justed earn­ings a share grew by 6 per­cent to 15.1p from 14.3p. Net rental in­come grew by 9.7 per­cent to £184m from £167.7m.

The group’s prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing pre­mium out­lets, gen­er­ated a to­tal re­turn of 4 per­cent. Oc­cu­pan­cies lev­els were marginally lower at 97.3 per­cent at end-June.

An in­terim div­i­dend a share of 10.7p was de­clared, which is al­most 6 per­cent higher than the 10.1p div­i­dend de­clared for the prior pe­riod.

Shares in Ham­mer­son dropped 0.45 per­cent on the JSE yes­ter­day to close at R99.

74.9% Ham­mer­son’s growth in ba­sic earn­ings per share for six months

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