Hammerson, the property development and investment group behind the stalled Sevenstone retail quarter development in Sheffield city centre, has boosted adjusted pre-tax profits by 11 per cent.
The company turned losses of £453.1 million in 2009 into profits of £620.2 million for 2010, largely thanks to a turnaround in property values, resulting in an increase in adjusted pre-tax profits from £130 million to £144.5 million.
Chairman, John Nelson, said: “This is a strong set of results which reinforces the strategy we are pursuing.
“Our financial flexibility and continued asset recycling will allow us to continue to take advantage of opportunities which we believe will arise in the coming period.”
Hammerson remained tight-lipped about prospects for a start on the Sevenstone development in its annual report, saying that it had a mixture of outline and detailed planning permissions for the project and is “in discussion with the council to complete the land acquisition phase of the scheme.”
The company adds: “Sevenstone has outline planning consent, some of the buildings within the scheme have detailed consent and we are working closely with principal stakeholders, such as John Lewis, to progress the project.”
It is understood that Sheffield City Council and Hammersons could soon announce they will purchase the remaining land needed for the scheme before the summer and compulsory purchase orders run out.
They may also announce a start date for a scaled down version of the original £600 million project, which envisaged the construction of 80,000 square metres (861,000 sq ft) of retail and leisure accommodation and 2,500 car parking spaces.
Council leader, Paul Scriven says an announcement that will move the project forward will be made within the next eight weeks.