Concerns for future of Intu after it announces £2bn loss 

Leading British real estate investment trust, Intu, which specialises in shopping centres, has announced a drastic 2bn loss that could crash the company.

Intu has remained one of the leading shopping centres in the UK, responsible for nine of the 20 leading shopping centres in the UK, yet the turbulent shift in spending habits has hit the highstreet hard, contributing to the mounting debt that the real estate company currently faces. Following the release of its 2019 statement, it has been warned by Intu that the company will collapse, should it not raise the funds needed soon. This news follows on from previous failure to raise £1bn to offset these costs from stakeholders in January. 

Intu has shopping centres in the following areas: Braehead, Glasgow; Broadmarsh, Nottingham; Chapelfield, Norwich; Derby; Eldon Square, Newcastle; Lakeside, Essex; Merry Hill, West Midlands; Metrocentre, Gateshead; Milton Keynes; Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent; Trafford Centre, Manchester; Uxbridge; Victoria Centre, Nottingham; Watford. It also has the following centres run as joint ventures: Manchester Arndale; St David's, Cardiff; and The Mall, Cribbs Causeway.

The British Retail Consortium announced that 2019 was the worst year in British retail history. This has been reflected in the number of stores that have either shut down, contracted, or moved in and out of administration. This has resulted in debts of almost £5bn for Intu.

Chief executive Matthew Roberts said: “In the short term, fixing the balance sheet is our top priority.”

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

 'We are focusing all our energies on moving the business forward,” he added.

Though the company’s footfall has remained largely unchanged in 2020, there are concerns that the outbreak of the Coronavirus may further contribute to its struggles. 

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