Cash-strapped owner of intu Potteries shopping centre warns business could go bust


The owner of Stoke-on-Trent’s biggest shopping centre has warned it could go out of business – after posting a massive £2 billion loss.

Latest accounts have revealed Intu – which owns Hanley‘s intu Potteries shopping centre – reported record losses of £2.021bn in 2019. That follows a £1.1 billion loss in 2018.

Its revenues fell by £38.8 million during 2019 as the shopping centre giant was hit by store closures.

Recent store closures at intu Potteries have included Monsoon, Accessorize, Druckers, Evans, Poundland, Spudulike and The Original Art Shop.

Monsoon and Accessorize have shut within Hanley’s intu Potteries shopping centre

Intu chief executive Matthew Roberts has revealed the company is making progress on a rescue plan.

But he has admitted that the results ‘indicate a material uncertainty in relation to intu’s ability to continue as a going concern’.

Now one option for Intu is to sell off some of its shopping centres.

Mr Roberts said: “In the short term, fixing the balance sheet is our top priority.

“We have options including alternative capital structures and further disposals to provide liquidity, and will seek to negotiate covenant waivers where appropriate.”

He added: “We are focusing all our energies on moving the business forward.”

The firm’s full-year results show like-for-like rental income tumbled by 9.1 per cent in 2019 – half of which was caused by the surge in retail rescue deals and administrations.

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Last year saw soaring levels of retail company voluntary arrangements, with many struggling chains demanding lower rents and shutting stores to survive. It saw a drop in the number of shoppers visiting its UK sites.

The coronavirus outbreak threatens to add to the group’s troubles, but it said footfall had so far remained broadly unchanged in the first 10 weeks of 2020.

StokeonTrentLive has contacted intu Potteries for a statement regarding the latest financial results.





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