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Lakeside shopping centre’s owner announces £1.2bn loss

Picture: Highways England

The company which owns Lakeside has declared a £1.2billion loss after what it has described as a “challenging year.” 

intu went through two attempted corporate takeovers and saw the value of its 17 shopping centres decline in 2018.  

“In a difficult year for the whole UK retail real estate sector, property valuations declined as sentiment weakened significantly,” said David Fischel, intu chief executive. 

It comes following news that HMV at Lakeside has closed down and after a dispute over rent which almost saw House of Fraser leave as well. 

However, intu has recently invested in a £40million extension in Lakeside which is 93% pre-let and due to open in Spring 2019. 

“Although the sentiment in the retail sector is at an all-time low, the reality is that around 400 million shoppers visit our centres each year and occupancy is at 97 per cent,” Fischel added. “As some 85% of all retail transactions still touch a physical store, demand from major retailers continues to be positive for our centres.

“Our tenants invested a record £144 million in their stores over the year, a clear indication that these retailers see great physical space as a key part of a successful multichannel strategy.”

River Island and Zara are both moving to bigger unites in Lakeside, doubling and trebling their space respectively. 

Mitsubishi and Silent Night have also opened shops in the centre.

intu has said it is considering developing up to 1,000 privately rented homes in the surrounding area.

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