A property company which owns half of Cardiff’s St David’s shopping centre has enjoyed a significant rise in pre-tax profits.
Intu Properties, which has a 50% stake in St David’s, made £194.3m before tax in the first half of this year, compared to £70.2m at the same time in 2012.
The company has also confirmed that St David’s has benefited from continued income growth in the 2009 extension and has risen in value by £9m to £266.2m as of June 30.
The news comes as shop rents have fallen by up to 70% in parts of Cardiff city centre as landlords struggle to attract retailers.
The number of empty shops in Cardiff increased from 9.7% in October 2008 to 15.8% last October, with the former Habitat unit remaining empty since the furniture firm left in August 2011.
But new lettings secured at St Davids included The White Company, Blott and Japanese restaurant Mount Fuji.
The White Company is due to open at St Davids in September, while stationery and accessories outlet Blott is due to open its unit at the centre next weekend.
Intu Properties was previously known as Capital Shopping Centres until a rebrand earlier this year.
Intu chief executive David Fischel said: “We are delighted with the impact of rebranding the company and our regional shopping centres as Intu, and the business opportunities the change is providing.
“Momentum across the whole company is significant with the important acquisitions in the period of Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes, and Charter Place, Watford.
“We have strengthened our financial position with debt re-financings and equity issuance and advanced a number of investment projects which form part of our £1bn pipeline.”
Occupancy at Intu properties across the UK has remained steady at 95% over the past two quarters.
The business suffered a 2.9% drop in like for like net rental income in the first half of the year, with rental increases offset by tenant failures.
Troubled retailer Modelzone is due to close its store in St David’s on Saturday, August 10, with the loss of 10 jobs.
The chain went into administration in June.