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Hammerson H1 Loss Widens; Announces Proposed Rights Issue, VIA Outlets Stake Sale

Hammerson plc (HMSO.L) reported Thursday that its first-half loss before tax widened to 1.09 billion pounds from 319.2 million pounds in the prior-year period. Loss per share widened to 142.2 pence from 41.8 pence in the year-ago period.

Adjusted profit for the period fell 84 percent to 17.7 million pounds from 107.4 million pounds a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share were 2.3 pence, down from 14.0 pence last year.

First-half revenue fell to 93.0 million pounds from 124.8 million pounds in the prior year. Net rental income declined 44 percent to 87.3 million pounds.

Hammerson also announces a proposed rights issue to raise gross proceeds of about 552 million pounds, and the sale of substantially all of the Company's 50 percent interest in VIA Outlets to a mutual fund managed by APG Asset Management N.V. for estimated cash proceeds of about 301 million euros. The company expects to raise combined total gross proceeds of approximately 825 million pounds.

Hammerson noted that the transactions will significantly strengthen its financial position, reduce absolute indebtedness and provide liquidity headroom as well as financial flexibility while it continues to refocus its portfolio towards flagship destinations in the UK and Ireland and, over the medium term, invests in its mixed-use City Quarters development opportunities.

Hammerson said it has received irrevocable undertakings from its two largest shareholders, APG and Lighthouse Capital Limited, to vote in favour of the rights Issue, and to take up their rights in full. APG and Lighthouse hold about 20 percent and 14 percent of the current issued share capital of the company respectively.

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