(Adds details on retail failures, dividend, CEO comment)
July 31 (Reuters) - British mall operator Intu Properties Plc reported a drop in first-half net rental income on Wednesday, hit by a raft of retail failures, and said it expects like-for-like net rental income to be moderately down in 2020.
The owner of the Trafford Centre in Manchester has faced the brunt of high-profile closures and company voluntary agreements (CVA), including Debenhams, Toys R Us, House of Fraser, New Look and HMV, that have exacerbated troubles on Britain’s high street.
Shares in Intu were seen falling 10% by traders.
Intu said it expects like-for-like net rental income, which fell 7.7% in the six months ended June 30, to be at a similar level for the rest of the year.
The company, which has been looking to preserve cash and reduce its debt by selling assets, said it has removed around 10% of its management roles since the end of June, saving 5 million pounds in cash annually.
Intu also scrapped its dividend earlier this year, allowing it to invest in its malls. The company said on Wednesday that it would not pay a dividend for the time being to retain cash within the business.
Intu said net rental income fell 17.9% to 205.2 million pounds ($249.52 million) in the first half.
“The first half of 2019 has been challenging for Intu. We have experienced further downward pressure on like-for-like net rental income and property values resulting from a higher level of administrations and CVAs,” Chief Executive Officer Matthew Roberts said in a statement.
$1 = 0.8224 pounds Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Noor Zainab Hussain and additional reporting on Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta