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Hammerson expects higher annual profit as shoppers spend more at malls

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FILE PHOTO: Shoppers are seen walking near Bullring shopping centre, owned by mall operator Hammerson, in Birmingham
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(Reuters) -Britain's Hammerson forecast a jump in annual earnings on Thursday, as this year's economic reopening encourages shoppers to spend more during mall visits and business booms at its luxury outlets.

Shares in the mall owner rose 2.5% as it also reported a 6% jump in October sales compared with pre-pandemic 2019.

Footfall in the United Kingdom and Ireland currently is about 90% of pre-pandemic levels while being around 85% in France, the company said. Its rent collection rate for the year stood at 84%.

Mall owners such as Hammerson have struggled with low rent collections during the pandemic as tenants, including retailers and restaurants, suffer from a drop in footfall due to pandemic restrictions and a shift to online shopping.

Hammerson said it expected adjusted earnings for the full-year to be not less than 60 million pounds ($79.94 million). It reported a profit of 36.5 million pounds last year.

($1 = 0.7505 pounds)

(Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Aditya Soni)

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