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Intu income steady in 'challenging' year

Shopping centre owner Intu has announced it anticipates full year rental income to grow between 0% and 1% in 2018, in a “particularly challenging” period for UK retail.

Intu signed 84 leases in the period between 1 July and 23 October 2018, which will deliver £15m annual rent revenue. So far this year, 200 long term leases have been agreed by the shopping centre company, delivering £32m in annual rent.

Intu also improved its occupancy rate during the period by 0.4% to 97% occupation. Footfall at Intu’s shopping centres dipped by 1.3% for the year to date – however, this was a lower drop than forecast.

The announcement comes as Intu awaits a possible buyout offer from a consortium of investors: investment group and shareholder the Peel Group, the Olayan Group, a Saudi conglomerate and Intu shareholder, and Brookfield, a Canadian private equity group.

Intu’s portfolio valuation currently stands at £9.58bn, down from £9.83bn in June 2018 – a reduction driven by “negative sentiment towards UK retail property”.

Commenting on the announcement, David Fischel, Intu’s chief executive, said: “Intu has continued to deliver a strong and resilient operational performance through a period which has been particularly challenging for UK retailers, demonstrating the clear differentiation between winning destinations such as Intu owns and the rest.”

Fischel highlighted the opening of the new £180m extension of Intu Watford, which opened in September, as a demonstration of Intu’s future innovations and investments.

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