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Hammerson’s profits plummet 69 per cent

Developer Hammerson has posted pre-tax profit of £93.5m for 2012 - down 69 per cent from £302.4m - following investments of £1bn during the year to further its retail-only focus.

Net rental income was down 1.9 per cent in 2012, falling to £263.8m, although like-for-like income was up 2.1 per cent. Final profits were down 59 per cent to £141.8m.

Hammerson plans to make further acquisitions to bolster the “scale, efficiency and overall returns” from its business.

While cautious about the UK’s economic outlook, the firm forecast a “modest” impact on its assets and said it was “confident that these assets will continue to attract both domestic and international retailers”. It plans “strong growth” in earnings and dividends over the three-year period until 2015.

Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said: “We have again proved that high-quality retail assets

combined with active management can deliver good income growth even in a challenging environment.

“Looking forward, our visibility of the future earnings profile of the business gives us confidence, and we continue to seek opportunities to enhance the scale and efficiency of our business through further acquisitions.”

In early 2012 Hammerson set out a revised strategy to become a pure retail-focused business, in order to generate sustainable returns for shareholders.

It announced the exit from its office investments for £627 million, a 7 per cent premium to December 2011 values, and also announced investments of £541 million of investments into prime shopping centres, retail parks and premium designer outlets.

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