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Financial Times: "Hammerson counts on Côte d'Azur for French lift" (and demolishing 205 homes at Brent Cross)

"Hammerson is counting on the spending of affluent consumers on the Côte d'Azur to boost its stake in French shopping.

"In a trading update on its July 1 to November 9 period, the retail-focused Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) reported that consumer and occupier market conditions are "improving in prime UK retail whilst remaining subdued but stable in France".

"UK shopping centre sales were up 2.6 per cent, with France down 2.8 per cent year-to-date.

"But new developments in Nice and Marseille look promising, it said:
"At Les Terrasses du Port [in Marseille], retailer performance has been strong during the initial trading period with a number of well-known brands including The Kooples, Princesse tam-tam and Michael Kors reporting that their new Marseille store is already one of their best performing from a sales perspective, within their French portfolios."
"The FTSE 100 company reported substantial year-on-year growth in total rent from new group lettings (+37 per cent) and total area of lettings (+21 per cent).

David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive, said:
"Earlier in the year we saw signs of improvement in the UK retail market and since then we have experienced further growth in retailer sales, tenant demand and rental values in our winning retail locations.

In France, there is continued appetite from both consumers and retailers for outstanding retail destinations despite a more muted consumer backdrop. The outperformance of our Les Terrasses du Port development in Marseille since opening and the acquisition of a stake in the prime Nice Etoile shopping centre, underlines our commitment to vibrant retail locations in France."

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