Trading update shows footfall and occupancy up year-on-year
Capital & Regional, the UK convenience and community focused shopping centre REIT which has a £1 billion portfolio, has issued a trading update for the first half of 2018.
The first half of 2018 saw 37.9 million shopper visits across the wholly-owned portfolio, representing like-for-like growth of 1.7 per cent and another period of considerable outperformance of the national index which was down 3.4 per cent. At the mid-year point occupancy stood at 96.9 per cent , up from 95.5 per cent one year previously.
C&R completed 21 new lettings and 23 lease renewals in the first half of 2018 worth £3.3m in rent, 3.3 per cent up on ERV and 3.4 per cent up on the previous passing rent.
However, reflecting declining investor confidence in the retail sector the wholly-owned portfolio was valued at £883.4m at 30 June 2018, down 0.4 per cent from December 2017.
Chief executive Lawrence Hutchings said: “Our strong letting progress and footfall performance demonstrate that our community shopping centre strategy, focussing on ‘needs’-based and non-discretionary offers, is resilient against the backdrop of a challenging first half of 2018 for the retail sector. We are remerchandising our space, investing in our properties and talking to our customers to ensure that each centre is carefully tailored to its local community. By reducing our exposure to fashion and offering a more diversified range of products and services in conveniently located, welcoming and vibrant environments, we are positioning the business for long term success.
“The first six months of 2018 has reinforced our view that the structural changes taking place in physical retailing continue to create polarisation in retail venues with our type of community shopping centres at one end and destination centres at the other. We continue to believe that community shopping centres are ideally placed to provide the critical point where product meets people and play an increasingly integral role in the new retail landscape through click and collect and store to customer delivery. This, allied to the expertise of our recently strengthened in-house management team, continues to underpin our confidence in the further development and growth of the C&R business.”