Hammerson Slashes 2020 Dividend as Store Closures Bite

British shopping centre operator Hammerson almost halved its 2020 dividend on Tuesday after the collapse into administration of a number of UK retail chains and outlets cut its annual net rental income, Reuters reported. The company has been striving to reduce its net debt, which stood at 2.8 billion pounds at the end of last year, by offloading assets and refocusing on its city shopping centres and premium outlets division. The owner of London’s Brent Cross shopping centre said it expects to recommend a dividend of 14 pence for 2020, a 46% fall compared to last year. Its shares rose as much as 5% on the UK midcap index .FTMC as analysts welcomed the smaller payout, before paring gains to stand little changed by 0935 GMT. The London-based company said last week it will exit its out-of-town retail locations by selling seven of them to private equity firm Orion for 400 million pounds. Read more