THE owner of the Metrocentre and Eldon Square shopping centres says it is showing “continuing resilience” in the face of the dire economic environment.
Capital Shopping Centres (CSC), which owns 15 major centres around the UK, also revealed further plans for improvements to its two North East centres as it published its half-yearly figures.
CSC’s underlying earnings increased to £70m in the six months to the end of June, from £66m a year earlier.
Rental income was also up, from £178m to £182m, but profits slumped from £192m a year ago to £78m.
The company said last year’s figure included a £58m property valuations gain and other one-off benefits.
Chief operating officer Mike Butterworth added: “We lost out on £7m of income to administrations, and we replaced about £3m.
“It’s a tough time, there’s no question about that. There are retailers that have gone bust.
“That’s indicative of how things are, but our centres are the prime shopping centres in the country.
“Retailers tend to do 45% of their business in the run up to Christmas. As landlords, we don’t fluctuate in the same way.”
The company has now fully let the new MetrOasis restaurant development at Gateshead’s Metrocentre, which will open in September, and has just revealed plans for an “impressive new entrance” from Northumberland Street into Eldon Square.
Butterworth said further developments for the two centres are in the pipeline.