Intu Properties said it had recorded a “solid” performance last year, positioning itself for a takeover by Hammerson, which will create the largest property stock on the JSE. “The underlying strengths of the Intu business were much in evidence in 2017 as we recorded a robust overall performance, confounding the external gloom and negativity in pre-Brexit UK about retail and retail property,” said CEO David Fischel. Intu recorded a strong year of leasing activity, signing 217 long-term leases in the UK and Spain, at rents in aggregate 7% ahead of previous rents, as retailers continued to focus on increasing their space in prime retail centres. This successful leasing performance meant that Intu achieved a third successive year of like-for-like net rental income growth. Following increases of 1.8% in 2015 and 3.6% in 2016, Intu delivered a 0.5% increase for the year overall, with a strong second half recovery with growth of 2.4%. “This enabled us to reiterate our medium-term guidance,...

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