StockMarketWire.com - Shopping centre owner Hammerson swung to a loss Monday as weaker UK investment market hurt the value of its properties.

For the 12 months to 31 December, the company reported a loss of £266.7m, compared with a profit of £413m on-year.

Like-for-like net rental income (NRI) growth fell 1.3% for the year.

Impacted by a weaker investment market, UK property values fell 9.3% in 2018, and the overall portfolio capital return fell 4.3%.

The final 2018 dividend was maintained at 14.8p per share with the total dividend for the year up 1.6%,

'2018 was a tough year particularly in the UK. Tenant failures, the structural shift in retail and a more considered consumer created a difficult operating environment, putting pressure on property values. Outside of the UK our destinations performed better with a strong contribution from premium outlets,' said David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson.

'We believe that a successful deleveraging programme will best position Hammerson for the current environment and beyond. Disposals will also enable us to prove the inherent value of this business - which we believe is not recognised in the current equity market.'

'Having successfully achieved £570m of disposals in 2018, we are aiming to dispose of at least £500m in 2019. We remain committed to exiting retail parks over the medium term and are in active portfolio-wide discussions on transactions of over £900m, which would add further strength to our balance sheet.'

'Over the longer term we will generate opportunities to create additional value through City Quarters, which will see us transform many of our city venues beyond pure retail into successful, thriving neighbourhoods. '

At 4:13pm: [LON:HMSO] Hammerson PLC share price was +3.1p at 374p



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