Shopping centre landlord Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has scaled back its development pipeline and ramped up its disposal programme as net rental income fell across its UK centres last year.

For the 2019 financial year, URW reported that like-for-like net rental income across its UK shopping centres was down 4.2%, making it the worst performing region across the group as both continental Europe and the US saw growth.

However, URW reported that footfall across UK centres through December was up 2.8%, outperforming the wider shopping centre index by 530 bps.

Tenant sales through December increased by 4.7% and vacancies across the portfolio fell to 7.7%, down from 8.7% in June 2019.

The shopping centre giant said it had also decided to scale back its development pipeline from €11.9bn (£9.9bn) to €8.3bn (£6.97bn) and had entered into a consortium with selected French investors, which will see it offload a 54.2% stake in five French shopping centres.

URW said the planned disposals “are a critical part of its strategy of concentration, differentiation and innovation”.

Group chief executive officer Christophe Cuvillier said that, despite the globally tough retail market, URW was well positioned for the future.

“The group remains soundly positioned for the future. We will continue the execution of our strategy of concentration, differentiation and innovation, and a disciplined approach to the allocation of capital and deleveraging.”