Opinion: Hammerson’s issues are symptomatic of a broken property market

Telford shopping centre

Hammerson’s latest set of financial results are symptomatic of the wider issues plaguing the UK retail property market and the institutional landlord is unlikely to be the only one feeling the effects.

Yesterday, embattled institutional landlord Hammerson unveiled its financial results for the 12 months to December 31, 2019. While the landlord was keen to stress it had exceeded its disposal target and significantly lowered its debt, the fact remains that it had another tough year.

Like-for-like net rental income across the group fell 11.2% to £308.5m, with UK flagships reporting a 6.7% decline and overall profits falling 10.9% to £214m.

However, perhaps most alarming for the landlord was the fact that Hammerson was forced to slash more than £800m off the value of its portfolio, as cash-strapped retail tenants demanded rent cuts or pushed through debt restructuring that left the business out of pocket.

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