StockMarketWire.com - NewRiver REIT said average rent collected from its retail property portfolio fell slightly in the first quarter, amid lower customer footfall.

Average retail rent fell to £12.35 per square feet in the three months through June, a tad lower than £12.36 in the three months through March.

Shopping centre footfall fell 2.5%, though the company claimed this outperformed the UK benchmark by 50 basis points.

Occupancy rates fell to 96.2%, down from 96.5% in the March quarter.

NewRiver REIT increased its first-quarter dividend by 3% to 5.4p per share.

'Across our portfolio we are progressing a number of opportunities to unlock further value, having identified the potential to develop an additional 1,300 residential units across our retail portfolio and commenced a review of the Hawthorn Leisure portfolio to identify convenience store development sites,' chief executive Allan Lockhart said.

'In addition, we continue to recycle capital profitably, with £25, of disposals completed or under offer, and over £30m in the market.'

The 3% increase in our first quarter dividend to 5.4 pence reflects our continued commitment to deliver growing and sustainable cash returns to shareholders.'






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