Landlord Hammerson let 178,900 square metres of space during the year to December, up 16% year-on-year, with like-for-like net rental income rising 2.1 per cent.

Pre-tax profits more than doubled to £703m in the year, driven by a £547m increase in the value of its property portfolio.

The company said occupancy remains strong at 97.5%.

Hammerson successfully raised over £1bn of capital (equity and debt), enhancing flexibility to fund further expansion

David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, said: “We have delivered strong results on the back of a significant uplift in asset valuation and continuing income growth. The recovery in UK consumer sentiment has continued to strengthen, driving increased demand from retailers for prime space, which is now translating into ERV growth across the whole portfolio.

“With strong momentum across our markets predicted to continue, bolstered by further growth from our prime portfolio, strategic exposure to the fast growing outlet sector and our major development programme, we remain confident in our abilityto deliver sustainable growth going forward.”