However, the company said it demonstrated a “resilient operational performance” despite a “challenging environment” as it claimed to outperform the national ShopperTrak retail average of a 3.5% decline in footfall.
Intu’s occupancy dropped slightly to 96.7% compared with 2017’s figure of 97% and its property value reduced by 13.3% in Q4. Its net rental income was £460.5m for the year, down from £460m.
The group invested £201m into its centres during the year and a record tenant investment of £144m was made on new shop fits.
David Fischel, Intu chief executive, said: “Intu has again delivered a resilient operational performance which demonstrates how our centres differentiate themselves as winning destinations for retailers with their variety and excitement. We own and manage many of the best shopping centres, in some of the strongest locations, in the UK and Spain.
“In a difficult year for the whole UK retail real estate sector and with very limited comparable transactional evidence, property valuations declined as sentiment weakened significantly.”
He added: “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%. As some 85% of all retail transactions still touch a physical store, demand from major retailers continues to be positive for our centres.”