Retail property company Hammerson has reported a 4pc rise in pre-tax profits as consumer confidence in the UK continues to improve.
The company, which recently finalised a deal to acquire a stake in the new Grand Central shopping centre at Birmingham’s New Street station, released its results for 2015 this morning.
Its adjusted profit, which does not take into account valuation changes, was up 21%, from £174.3m in 2014 to £210.9m in 2015.
It said a 2.8pc rise in the rental value at its UK shopping centres reflected demand from retailers for high-quality space in prime locations.
The company’s rental income rose to £318.6m from £305.6m, while its property portfolio valuation grew to £8.4bn from £7.7bn, driven by a number of large acquisitions during the year.
The value of Hammerson's assets per share grew 11.3pc to £7.10.
In September, the FTSE 100 company agreed a deal to buy a portfolio of loans secured against retail assets for €1.85bn from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency.
It is also planning to build a new shopping centre with partner Westfield in Croydon, as well as develop the Bishopsgate Goodsyard scheme in the City of London.
Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said the company would look to make around £300m of sales in the coming year in order to fund its acquisitions and new developments.
He added that the company remained confident that consumer spending would continue to rise, despite market turmoil elsewhere, buoyed by low interest rates and falling commodities prices.
“The UK is in clear recovery and performing relatively well,” he said.
“Although we’ve had a fairly turbulent financial market in the last week we remain confident in terms of the consumer, and the retailer demand that arises on the back of that.”