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Hammerson FY'17 profit climbs 28% YOY

Hammerson Plc said its full-year 2017 profit before tax totaled £413.4 million, marking a gain of 28.1% from £322.8 million in the prior-year period.

The company's earnings per share came to 48.9 pence, a gain of 21.9% from 40.1 pence in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted profit increased 6.8% year over year to £246.3 million, or 31.1 pence per share, from £230.7 million, or 29.2 pence per share.

Net rental income climbed 6.9% on an annual basis to £370.4 million in the reporting period from £346.5 million.

The U.K.-based retail asset developer declared a final dividend of 14.8 pence per share for the period, payable April 26 to shareholders on record as of March 16. The amount lifts the full-year dividend 6.25% year over year to 25.5 pence per share.

Hammerson recorded an occupancy level of 98.3% as at Dec. 31, 2017, buoyed primarily by France's increase in occupancy levels to 97.9% from 96.5% in 2017.

Meanwhile, Hammerson's proposed £3.4 billion deal to buy fellow retail real estate investment trust Intu Properties Plc will be up for shareholder approval in an extraordinary general meeting to be held in April.

The merger, which is expected to establish an entity holding a pan-European retail and leisure portfolio valued at £21 billion, is expected to close in the fourth quarter following approval from competition regulatory authorities, according to a release.

Since the end of 2017, Hammerson boosted its investment in Value Retail PLC via the acquisition of numerous direct investor interests in the Villages properties, including Bicester Village in the U.K. and La Vallée Village in Paris for a total cost of £76 million. Following the acquisition, the company has a 50% economic interest in Bicester Village.