Hammerson plc (“Hammerson” or the “Company”) a FTSE 100 European retail property specialist today announces its intention to pursue a secondary inward listing of all its shares on the Main Board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (‘JSE’). Established in 1942, the Company has its primary listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
Hammerson is one of the UK’s leading retail REITs with a £9 billion (ZAR 172 billion) portfolio of high-quality retail and leisure destinations predominantly located in the UK, France and Ireland. Hammerson’s portfolio comprises over 41 vibrant shopping centres and retail parks as well as a platform of 15 premium outlets in the UK and around Europe.
With a depth of real estate and retail experience across its management personnel, Hammerson actively manages its properties to drive rental growth leading to a consistent track-record of earnings and dividend growth.
The Company also has a successful track record in the development of leading shopping centres including Brent Cross in London, the UK’s first shopping mall, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary of trading, Bullring in Birmingham, with its iconic Selfridges building and Les Terrasses du Port in Marseille, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.
Hammerson is seeking the secondary inward listing in order to:
• improve the depth and spread of the Company shareholder base, thereby improving the liquidity and tradability of its shares;
• ensure the Company is accessing a wider pool of international capital;
• support the Company’s existing and prospective South African shareholders by providing an additional market for trading the Company’s shares;
• provide South African investors, both institutional and private, with an opportunity to participate over the long term in the future income and capital growth of the Company;
• enhance the global public profile of Hammerson with its stakeholders, including investors, retailers and consumers and especially those based in South Africa and on the African continent.
Commenting, David Atkins, CEO, said:
“In response to growing demand, this secondary inward listing will allow Hammerson to access a wider pool of international capital while providing more investors with exposure to our world-class European retail property business. Our register already includes a highly diversified global shareholder base, including a number of South African funds, and this listing is expected to further extend the depth and spread of investors and improve liquidity for existing shareholders.”
The secondary inward listing on the JSE is expected to take place in early September 2016. Further information regarding the listing will be provided in due course.
Further background on Hammerson
Hammerson’s retail portfolio attracts over 280 million visitors per year and is well-positioned to benefit from recognised consumer shopping trends, namely: preference for experiential venues, which combine a vibrant retail mix of restaurants, leisure and pop-up entertainment; growing footfall at convenient retail park locations connected by major road or rail infrastructure and with ample parking; and the propensity for shoppers, especially international tourists, to seek out authentic luxury brands at a discount price at premium outlets.
The property portfolio has high occupancy of 97.2% and is well-let to a diverse mix of over 4,500 tenants. Units are traditionally let on a long-term basis with a weighted average lease length across the portfolio of seven years. The equivalent yield on Hammerson’s investment portfolio is 5.6% (as at 30 June 2016).
The Company’s operational ‘Product Experience Framework’ is a point of differentiation and is focused on delivering best practice in retail design, digital solutions, customer engagement and sustainability across its portfolio.
The Company is currently on-site at two schemes, Victoria Gate in Leeds and WestQuay Watermark which will deliver 52 400m² of new retail and leisure space in the next six months and it has an enviable development pipeline of strategic London schemes.
Hammerson enjoys strong support from the capital markets and its banking partners, traditionally sourcing funding from a combination of unsecured bank facilities and corporate bonds. Hammerson’s debt rating is A- (Fitch) and Baa1 (Moody’s) and its average cost of debt is 3.2% (as at 30 June 2016). The Company applies an internal guidance of maintaining financial leverage in line with 40% loan-to-value. Hammerson also makes use of joint ventures with a select group of international partners.
In the last financial year to 31 December 2015, Hammerson delivered a total property return of 12.4% and, in the six months to 30 June 2016, 2.9%. Hammerson’s high-quality portfolio delivered net rental income of £319 million and adjusted profit of £211 million in the year to 31 December 2015 and £168 million and £113 million, respectively, in the six months to 30 June 2016.
The Company has demonstrated the strength of its business model over the long-term with its track record of earnings per share and net asset value per share delivering compound annual growth of 8.7% and 7.6%, respectively, over the five years to 31 December 2015. Hammerson has consistently grown its dividend per share over this period by 7.7% compound annual growth rate.