Hammerson to spend pounds 400m

HAMMERSON, the property developer, yesterday underlined its confidence in the market with plans to spend up to pounds 400m on shopping centres and offices, writes Francesco Guerrera.

Chief executive Ron Spinney (above left, with finance director Simon Melliss) said that this year the company would invest around pounds 200m to develop its existing portfolio, which includes the Oracle retail centre in Reading and the West Quay mall in Southampton. A further pounds 200m could be spent to boost its portfolio of retail and office properties in the UK and Europe.

Mr Spinney's comments came as Hammerson reported a 9.9 per cent increase in underlying pre-tax profits to pounds 68.8m on rental income up by 3.5 per cent to pounds 127.9m.