David Atkins. Picture :SUPPLIED
David Atkins. Picture :SUPPLIED

JSE-listed UK shopping mall owner Hammerson’s interim profit plunged to £55.7m — less than fifth of the matching period’s £287.1m.

"The most significant variance was the net revaluation deficit on the group’s property portfolio of £40.1m in the first half of 2018 compared with net gains of £187.9m in 2017," Hammerson said in its interim results for the six months to end-June, released on Tuesday.

During the reporting period, Hammerson spent £6.4m fighting off the hostile takeover attempt by France’s Klépierre and its decision to abandon its proposed merger with fellow JSE-listed UK shopping mall owner Intu.

Despite the drop in profit, Hammerson raised its interim dividend 4% to 11.1 UK pence, which a weaker rand should amplify to about a 6% for its South African investors, its said.

With the pound at about R17.60 on Tuesday, Hammerson’s dividend equates to about R1.95 from the matching period’s R1.83. The group reported a 4.75% decline in interim revenue to £152.5m.

Hammerson intends selling its retail parks to focus on "winning destinations of the highest quality", CEO David Atkins.

It intends spending the £300m it has raised from disposals so far on buying back its own shares.

"In the near term, while we dispose of assets to optimise the portfolio mix, income will be negatively impacted. There will, however, be benefits to earnings per share from organic growth in Dublin and premium outlets, refinancing and cost reduction programmes as well as the proposed share buyback," Atkins said.

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