NewRiver has said it enjoyed a “positive” year for its retail parks and shopping centres divisions, as the real estate investment trust (REIT) released its full year results.
As of March 31 2023, retail parks and shopping centres respectively accounted for 28% and 37% of the REIT’s total portfolio, with 14 assets each.
The year ended with NewRiver seeing 98% of its retail park portfolio occupied, with a 100% retention rate. The REIT said it had continued to see strong occupational and investor demand in its retail parks, with transactions being completed 0.8% ahead of estimated rental values.
NewRiver’s shopping centre division also ended the year with a 98% occupancy rate, with a retention rate of 90%. The REIT said that occupational demand was reflected in positive leasing performance, with long-term deals transacted 2.3% ahead of estimated rental values.
Over the last three years, NewRiver said is had completed long-term leasing transactions across its retail parks and shopping centres totalling respective amounts of £4.5m and £5.5m of annualised rent.
Allan Lockhart, NewRiver chief executive, said: “Given our current high occupancy rates for retail parks and core shopping centres at 98% and the benefit of the reduction of business rates for our occupiers, we believe that the prospects for future rental growth are now encouraging which should be supportive of future valuations.”
This comes as the REIT reported a narrowing of its losses in the 2023 financial year. In the year to March 31, NewRiver reported a loss after taxation of £16.8m, an improvement on 2022 which saw a loss after tax of £26.6m.
The total value of NewRiver’s properties fell over the course of the year, from £649.4m in 2022 to £593.6m in 2023. Despite this, retail operational profits increased by over a quarter, up to £25.8m compared to £20.5m. The REIT also had higher cash reserves at the end of the year, with £111.3m compared to £88.2m a year prior.