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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  The British Land Company PLC    BLND   GB0001367019

THE BRITISH LAND COMPANY PLC

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Mall operator Intu shares slump after dividend axed amid retail shakeout

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02/20/2019 | 06:45am EST
FILE PHOTO: Model Bethan Sowerby wears a dress made using graphene during a media event at the Intu Trafford centre shopping complex in Manchester

(Reuters) - British shopping centre operator Intu Properties scrapped its final dividend on Wednesday due to tough conditions in the retail sector, sending its shares down more than 12 percent.

The owner of the Trafford Centre in Manchester, northern England, which had paid a final dividend of 9.4 pence per share last year, blamed persistent declines in sales from physical stores and a rash of company failures in the sector.

It said retaining the dividend would allow it to continue to invest in its malls after a year in which its net rental income had fallen by around 1.9 percent and the value of its UK assets had shrunk 13.3 percent or £1.4 billion.

"2018 has been an eventful and challenging year for Intu," said Chief Executive David Fischel in a statement, noting Intu's shares had slumped to a virtually unprecedented 60 percent discount to the underlying net value of its assets.

The company, which is also trying to lower its debt, said it would look to sell some assets in the UK and Spain, though it was holding off on British disposals while Brexit-related uncertainty was seriously impacting investor sentiment.

In Spain the group had received a number of unsolicited offers it was evaluating.

Intu shares were down 9 percent at 107 pence by 0854 GMT, the top loser in London's midcap index, after falling as low as 103.4p, their lowest in nearly a month. Blue chip rivals Hammerson, British Land and Land Securities were also in the red.

"With no yield support, a constrained capital structure, the continuing search for new leadership, and the ongoing seismic shift in the retail landscape, caution must persist," Peel Hunt analysts said.

Fischel plans to leave once a successor is appointed after more than 17 years at the helm.

Intu inv
estors look for cheer after failed takeover bids:

Intu hopes to push its current debt to assets ratio of 53.1 percent to below its 50 percent maximum target over time and wants to conserve cash.

Chief Financial Officer Matthew Roberts said retailers were still interested in Britain despite anxieties around the country's looming exit from the European Union. "We did a good number of letting deals in 2018 and whilst global retailers remain cautious, they're still continuing to invest in the UK," Roberts told Reuters.

Intu's new tenants included Abercrombie & Fitch Co, Uniqlo, Bershka and Monki, with established retailers such as Next, Primark, Zara and River Island all upsizing.

Roberts said Intu, target of two failed takeover bids last year by Hammerson and some of its biggest shareholders, had a plan in place in case Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal next month, but declined to give details.

Roberts said Intu would review its capital returns in six months, adding it did not have a target by when to cut debt.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and David Holmes)

By Noor Zainab Hussain and Tanishaa Nadkar

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
HAMMERSON PLC -1.06% 252.5 Delayed Quote.-17.33%
INTU PROPERTIES PLC -3.44% 21.36 Delayed Quote.-33.44%
LAND SECURITIES GROUP PLC -0.56% 966 Delayed Quote.-1.88%
THE BRITISH LAND COMPANY PLC -0.45% 578.8 Delayed Quote.-8.99%
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Financials (GBP)
Sales 2020 546 M
EBIT 2020 416 M
Net income 2020 -434 M
Debt 2020 3 405 M
Yield 2020 5,44%
P/E ratio 2020 -13,9x
P/E ratio 2021 58,5x
EV / Sales2020 16,1x
EV / Sales2021 16,1x
Capitalization 5 387 M
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 17
Average target price 580,12  GBp
Last Close Price 581,40  GBp
Spread / Highest target 27,3%
Spread / Average Target -0,22%
Spread / Lowest Target -22,6%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Christopher Grigg Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Tim Score Chairman
Joff Sharpe Head-Operations
Simon Carter Chief Financial Officer & Director
William Nicholas Jackson Senior Independent Director
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