Intu Metrocentre receives permission to extend the Qube

New catering operators are heading to the intu Metrocentre after plans were green lit for an expansion in its Qube foodcourt area

Shoplifters are being hunted in a crackdown at the Metrocentre
Shoppers at the Metrocentre

New operators are heading to the intu Metrocentre after its owners were granted permission to extend the Qube area.

Intu Properties plc, the owner of the intu Metrocentre and intu Eldon Square said it has “advanced considerably” in 2013 with profit for the year more than doubling from £159m to £364m,

The developer, owner and manager of prime regional shopping centres across the UK and Spain said it saw its net rental income rise by 1.9% from £363m in 2012 to £370m in its full-year results, announced on the London Stock Exchange.

And the firm also detailed how it has received planning consent for the extension to the intu Metrocentre’s dining area.

The business has permission for a 45,000 sq ft area next to its Imax Odeon cinema which will add 11 more catering outlets and a clutch of new operators to the area.

At Eldon Square in Newcastle, the company said the major refurbishment was due to be completed later this year.

The work includes revamping 65,000 sq ft of space malls, replacing 13,000 sq ft of roof lights and constructing a new feature entrance from Northumberland Street, and introducing free wi-fi.

The business underlying earnings per share dropped slightly, from 16.1p to 15p, reflecting the £10m impact of tenants who went into administration in late 2012 and early 2013.

Intu also detailed a UK development pipeline of some £1.2bn over the next 10 years, on active management projects at most centres and extensions.

David Fischel, chief executive of Intu Properties plc, commented: “Intu advanced significantly in 2013 with a rebranding, strategic acquisitions, debt refinancing, equity issuance and key planning consents for our £1.2bn development programme.

“The benefits to customers, retailers and staff from our rebranding as intu have surpassed our expectations. Successful multi-channel retailers continue to regard flagship stores in the larger super-regional and major city centres as core to their overall business.

“With the economy appearing to improve and total profit for the year including revaluations increased from £159 million to £364 million, we are prepared to withstand some minor reduction in like-for-like net rental income in the short term as we continue to invest in our centres to drive their total returns through our robust asset management approach, tenant mix repositioning and development projects.”

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