said it ison schedule to deliver growth in like-for-like net rental income in the rangeof 2% to 3% in 2016.
Inits trading update for the period from Jan. 1 to May 4, the group said its cashand available facilities amounted to more than £750 million as at March 31,while the debt to asset ratio was at 41%.
Thecompany also provided an update on its U.K. development activities. Intu opened11 new restaurants at intu Metrocentre following a £17 million , which brings astabilized initial yield on cost of more than 8%. The company said itsintu Eldon Squarerestaurant redevelopmentis slated for opening in October, and 92% of the project is already let.
Further,the company completed demolitionwork at the Charter Place precint adjacent to intu Watford, and has commenced a fixed costbuilding contract for a £180 million extension of the asset. Almost 60% of thenew space is currently under offer.
Intusigned 43 new long term leases during the quarter, reflecting £7 million of newpassing rent, 10% above the previous passing rent. The company also settled 38rent reviews during the period, with new rents totaling £14 million, reflectinga 9% increase on previous rents. Ten BHSunits and two Austin Reedunits could be vacated in the company's portfolio as the retailers recentlyfell into administration.
Intualso reported a 2% increase in footfall and a 4% increase in retailer sales atits two Spanish centers.
IntuCEO David Fischel said, "Encouragingly we have seen little impact oncustomer flow into our shopping centers or tenant interest for space whichremains very positive despite financial markets being volatile ahead of the EUreferendum vote on 23 June 2016."