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LAND - Land Securities News Story

961.2p -6.4  -0.7%

Last Trade - 21/02/20

Sector
Financials
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £7.13bn
Enterprise Value £10.93bn
Revenue £748.0m
Position in Universe 128th / 1838

UPDATE 1-Intu Properties scraps dividend; looking to cut debt, sell assets

Wed 20th February, 2019 8:17am
(Adds details on disposals, chairman comments; share price)
    Feb 20 (Reuters) - Intu Properties Plc  INTUP.L  scrapped
its full-year dividend, as several high profile retail
bankruptcies forced the shopping mall operator to diversify its
tenants, and said it plans to look at disposing some assets to
lower debt.
    Intu shares were 7.8 percent lower at 109 pence in early
trade, taking the stock to the bottom of London's midcap index
 .FTMC . Blue chip rivals Hammerson Plc  HMSO.L , British Land
Company Plc  BLND.L  and Land Securities Group Plc  LAND.L  were
also in the red.
    The property firm's poor performance was exacerbated by
several high profile closures on the High Street and company
voluntary arrangements (CVA) including Toys R Us, House of
Fraser, New Look and HMV that added to an ailing retail sector. 
    "Intu has had a challenging year with a difficult retail and
uncertain economic environment, together with responding to two
abortive corporate offers for the company," Chairman John
Strachan said in a statement.
    The company is trying to lower its debt and will look at
selling some assets. It plans to hold on to its cash and will
not pay a dividend.
    Intu's current debt to assets ratio is 53.1 percent.
    "We propose to reduce our debt to assets ratio over time
back below 50 per cent by further disposals and part-disposals
and retaining the cash generated by our activities rather than
distributing it as dividend," said Chairman John Strachan in a
statement on Wednesday.
    The owner of popular shopping malls such as Manchester's
Trafford centre had two failed bids last year by Hammerson and a
consortium led by some of its biggest shareholders to buy the
company.
    "We consider substantial sales in the UK as challenging
until a political resolution on the Brexit issue is achieved and
not in shareholders' interest while market sentiment towards UK
retail property is so negative," Intu said, adding it had
received a number of unsolicited offers in Spain, which it was
evaluating. 
    The company said net rental income for the year ended Dec.
31 fell to 450.5 million pounds ($587.77 million) from 460
million pounds a year earlier.
    Intu said it expects 2019 like-for-like net rental income,
including the impact of House of Fraser, to be down by 1 percent
to 2 percent.

 (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Noor Zainab Hussain in
Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)
 ((tanishaa.nadkar@thomsonreuters.com; Within UK +44 20 7542
1810; Outside UK +91 80 6749 1691; Reuters Messaging:
tanishaa.nadkar.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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