UK property stocks show signs of life

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UK property stocks show signs of life

Published Date: 2019-01-09 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion | Comments

UK property stocks show signs of life

While many retailers reported improved December sales, they were boosted by growth in online purchases.

UK property stocks led the JSE higher yesterday after some retailers reported improved Christmas sales despite uncertainty around Brexit. However, their numbers were boosted by growth in online shopping and big discounts offered from Black Friday on 23 November until the end of the festive period.

Hammersons and intu, as well as property developer Capco, all jumped more than 3%, helping to lift the JSE's All Share index by 0.4%. Hammerson and intu own shopping centres and retail parks across the UK and continental Europe, while Capco owns a retail precinct in London's Covent Garden.

The Katar Worldpanel grocery market survey showed record sales growth for UK supermarkets over the Christmas trading period. Separately clothing chains Next and Joules and department store group John Lewis all reported improved sales too. On the downside, music retailer HMV called in administrators last month and fashion chain Footasylum said its earnings were likely to be at the bottom end of estimates.

Business consultancy BDO's High Street Sales Tracker revealed that sales across the UK were boosted by online purchases, with in-store sales tracking 1.9% lower in December. Non-store sales jumped 11.9%, leaving total sales 1% higher for the month.

Yesterday's gains for the three property owners follow a tough 12 months for the sector, which saw Hammerson shed 33% of its value and intu plunge 50% - after first Hammerson then another suitor cancelled plans to buy it. Hammerson was also approached by French rival Klépierre, which declined to make a formal offer. Capco dropped by 19% last year.

Hammerson closed 3.7% up yesterday at R60.35, intu rose 3.1% to R19.88 and Capco gained 3.3% to R43.41.





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