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July 1 (Reuters) - Mall operator Hammerson said on Wednesday it has collected just 16% of rents due in the UK during the third quarter at June-end, as retailers reeled under pressure with the coronavirus lockdown denting sales.
The British company said it has received approval for issuance of up to 300 million pounds ($371.31 million) under the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), bumping up its maximum liquidity to 1.5 billion pounds.
Rival Intu Properties was forced to bring in administrators last week after failing to secure a deal with creditors, news that sent Hammerson’s stock price dwindling as much as 15%.
Intu was already struggling with a hefty debt load, but the COVID-19 crisis proved to be the final straw as it hammered rent payments.
Hammerson, whose shares are indicated to open 5% higher on Wednesday due to additional funding, said it received nearly three-fourth of the rent in the UK for the first half.
“The company is confident that collection rates will continue to improve materially in all regions as agreements are progressed with brands,” Hammerson said.
($1 = 0.8080 pounds)
Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Sherry Jacob-Phillips
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