Intu Properties has said that as the proportion of consumer spend on leisure increases, they want shopping centres to offer a more experiential day out, be it cafes, restaurants or activities like mini-golf.

Announcing its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2018, Intu Properties said footfall at its sites had “consistently beaten industry benchmark”, decreasing by 1.6%, compared to the national ShopperTrak retail average of -3.5%.

Like-for-like net rental income grew by +0.6%, compared to +0.5% in 2017.

Investments last year included the £40m leisure extension to Intu Lakeside, with 93% of the scheme pre-let. Communal dining halls concept Market Halls is the most recent signing to the scheme, with operators including Puttshack and Hollywood Bowl in the fit out stage ready to open in the spring.

Other notable investment in 2018 included the opening of the Halle Place restaurant quarter at Manchester Arndale.

John Strachan, chairman, Intu, said: “Intu has had a challenging year with a difficult retail and economic environment, together with responding to two abortive corporate offers for the company.

”However our management team had produced a robust operational performance with increased like-for-like net rental income for the fourth consecutive year, 97% occupancy and signed 248 long-term leases.”

He said the outcome was testimony to it investing in its centres and the brand, “making them different, attractive and exciting so retailers look at our centres as key trading locations”.

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