Bloomberg News

Hammerson to Sell Office Holdings, Reinvest in Shopping Malls

February 26, 2012

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Hammerson Plc, Britain’s third- largest real estate investment trust, plans to sell its office portfolio and reinvest the proceeds in shopping malls.

The London-based company today reported that full full-year profit excluding items declined 2.2 percent as administrative costs increased. Hammerson said it will divest its office assets over the “medium term.”

Earnings before changes in asset values and items fell to 137 million pounds ($216 million), or 19.3 pence a share, from 140.2 million pounds, or 19.9 pence, a year earlier, company said today in a statement. Net asset value rose to 5.30 pounds a share from 5.20 pounds six months earlier.

Analysts expected earnings of 19.6 pence a share, the average 19 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Chief Executive Officer David Atkins sold 555 million pounds of real estate in 2010 to help pay debt and fund acquisitions and projects. Hammerson raised 272 million pounds last year, mainly from the sale of a London office building and a stake in a mall near Paris.

Hammerson advanced 9.6 percent in London trading in the three months through yesterday, exceeding the 8.6 percent gain for the 11 members of the FTSE 350 Real Estate Investment Trust Index.

--Editors: Andrew Blackman, Ross Larsen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Packard in London at packard@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net.


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