Hammersonís shares rose on the back of its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2016 in spite of a fall in reported profits due to lower revaluation gains.
The acquisition of Grand Central in Birmingham and the completion of Victoria Quarter and Watermark Westquay lifted the portfolio by 19.1 per cent to £9,971m and net rental income was up 8.8 per cent to £346.5m.
During the year over 1.5 million sq ft of new space was leased introducing over 40 new brands with leases signed at an average of 5 per cent ahead of ERV.
Chief executive David Atkins said: ďI am pleased to report another set of strong financial results, with sector-leading earnings and dividend growth reflecting robust operational performance across all parts of the portfolio. During the year we have significantly grown and enhanced the portfolio, adding new retail space in faster-growth markets including Dublin, Leeds and Birmingham, and extending our presence in the European outlets market. To fund these growth opportunities, we successfully refinanced over £1.2 billion of debt and executed our planned disposal programme, generating £635 million.
"The strength of the results we are reporting today is a clear reflection of the success of the specialist retail strategy we set out five years ago. Looking ahead, despite some UK retail headwinds and geopolitical uncertainty, I am confident that we have a resilient and adaptable business with multiple opportunities to drive similar levels of growth and therefore continue to deliver sector-leading income-focused returns.Ē