Intu’s shares hit as it swings to loss and waves goodbye to CEO
The shopping centre firm’s chief executive is departing after a possible merger with Hammerson failed.
Intu’s shares have slumped after the company swung to a loss and announced the departure of its chief executive.
The shopping centre company made a £503.4 million loss in the six months to June 30, compared to a profit of £122.7 million during the same period of last year.
David Fischel, Intu’s chief executive, will step down from the board when a successor has been found.
Mr Fischel was going to leave the company under a proposed merger with Hammerson, but the deal fell through in a dramatic knock for the firm.
Intu was hit with a £650.4 million charge from a decline in value of its shopping centres, which include the Trafford Centre in Manchester and the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex.
The retirement of long-standing CEO David Fischel could present an opportunity for his successor to revisit the group's strategy and help improve the market’s current poor perception of its assets and direction Analysts at Liberum
Analysts at Liberum said the pressure on Intu’s shopping centres had been over and above that experienced by rivals Hammerson and Land Securities.
“The retirement of long-standing CEO David Fischel could present an opportunity for his successor to revisit the group’s strategy and help improve the market’s current poor perception of its assets and direction,” they said.
Net rental growth was 1.3% on a like-for-like basis over the period, with the company saying that it was unaffected by a string of store closures announced by retailers.
Intu’s shares were down 7.7% at 166p.
Mr Fischel said: “During a period of weakening sentiment in the retail market, which has impacted prime shopping centre valuations, Intu has delivered a resilient operational performance in the first half of 2018.
“This reflects the high quality of our business which was able to perform in a challenging retail environment.”