Intu appoints John Strachan as chairman

By James Buckley - Thursday, February 23, 2017 8:50

Intu has announced that John Strachan, one of the retail agency world's best known figures, will take over the helm as its chairman in May.

Strachan, a non-executive director of the firm since October 2015, will succeed Patrick Burgess as chairman of the shopping centre giant following the annual general meeting on 3 May. 

Previously global head of retail services and chairman of the retail board at Cushman and Wakefield until 2015, Strachan brings with him a wealth of experience both internationally and in the UK, as well as extensive knowledge of the Spanish retail property market. 

Prior to joining Cushman and Wakefield, he was head of UK and european retail at Healey and Baker after starting his career at the firm in 1972.

Strachan is also a past president and chairman of the British Council of Shopping Centres (now Revo).  He is currently a member of the global & european boards of the International Council of Shopping Centres. 

David Fischel, intu chief executive, said: "On behalf of the Board, I am delighted that John will be taking over as Chairman of intu in May. With his vast experience and knowledge of the retail real estate sector, he has made a significant contribution since joining the Board.

Patrick Burgess had indicated his intention to step down at the 2017 AGM. 

“The Board would like to record its sincere thanks to him for his outstanding service to the company, both as a non-executive director since 2001 and as Chairman since 2008. This period has seen substantial growth in the company’s activities and includes such landmark events as the demerger of Capital & Counties in 2010, the intu Trafford Centre transaction in 2011, the rebranding as intu in 2013 and recent entry into Spain. 

“The Board has benefited from Patrick’s significant experience, sound judgement and leadership.”

The announcement came as intu posted its full-year results with stable property values, significantly outperforming the IPD benchmark which was down 4.7% for the period.

Its net asset value net asset per share of 404p was unchanged from 2015, delivering a total financial return in the year of 3.4%.

Like for like net rental income was up 3.6%, in line with guidance and the firm said there was no adverse impact from Brexit, with consumers still coming to its shopping centres and retailers still wanting to be in prime, high footfall locations.

Footfall was 1.3% compared to a fall of 2% in the national ShopperTrak retail average and retailers opened four shops a week with intu last year, investing nearly £100m in their units.

Intu had an active year of asset recycling, acquiring the 50% of intu Merry Hill shopping centre it did not already own for £410m, which it funded by selling its interest intu Bromley and Equity One.

It said this balance of acquisitions and disposals allowed it to maintain a similar debt to assets ratio on the previous year. 

Intu has a development pipeline of £655m to the end of 2019, with cash and available facilities of £922m.

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