Hammerson rent collection hit as lockdowns force retail tenants to close

Joanna Bourke
·1-min read
<p>The Bullring centre in Birmingham</p> (Getty)

The Bullring centre in Birmingham

(Getty)

Shopping centres landlord Hammerson has collected just 41% of the rent it was due for the first quarter, it said as it showed how the pandemic is disrupting the business.

The firm, a joint owner of the Brent Cross mall and behind Birmingham’s Bullring, said for the December quarter date, which covers the three months ahead, it has so far collected over a third of payments.

However, that figure is higher than at the same point in previous quarters in 2020 when the pandemic first hit.

The company has seen rental income knocked after numerous retailers and restaurant owners were forced to temporarily close sites for lockdowns.

The landlord has agreed rent holidays, deferrals and moves to monthly payments for some firms across its estate.

As at January 17, around a quarter of Hammerson’s tenants in the UK were open, such as ‘essential’ retailers, including supermarkets, and those offering click and collect or takeaways.

Hammerson's sites in France are now subject to a 6pm national curfew.

The FTSE 250 firm last year did a £552 million equity raise to boost its balance sheet during the virus crisis.

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