* Names new CFO
* Malls in England reopened on April 12
April 20 (Reuters) - Hammerson on Tuesday named a
new finance chief and said the number of visitors at its
shopping malls in England in the past week had risen to around
80% of 2019 levels after restrictions were eased.
Malls, restaurants and pubs were allowed to reopen on April
12 in England after multiple lockdowns in the past year.
The owner of the Brent Cross shopping centre and the
Bullring in Birmingham said footfall in the past week was at
about 80% of levels seen in April 2019 as it looks to recover
from lockdowns which slashed sales last year.
So far it had collected 40% of the second-quarter rents that
are due at group level, Hammerson said.
In France and other regions where Hammerson operates,
however, it said market conditions remained challenging as it
still faces pandemic-related restrictions. Hammerson's portfolio
spans seven countries.
Its London-listed shares were down 3.4% by 0816 GMT.
The company named Himanshu Raja as its new chief financial
officer (CFO) to support CEO Rita-Rose Gagné's strategic review
of the business.
Raja was most recently CFO at real estate agent Countrywide
and previously held that post at private security firm G4S.
The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified problems for retailers
battling against online rivals as lockdowns boost online
Hammerson has been overhauling its business, raising equity,
and selling some of its portfolio as it tries to fix its balance
sheet. It reported a 1.7 billion pound loss in 2020.
Last week it said it was in talks to sell its retail parks
portfolio to Canadian private equity firm Brookfield Asset
Analysts said the company would need to make further
"Hammerson is still fighting against the tide," Liberum
analyst Tom Musson wrote in a note on Tuesday. "Without (further
material disposals), another dilutive equity injection may be
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; editing by Shounak
Dasgupta and Jason Neely)