Shares in Hammerson were up on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading after the real estate company reported a strong trading performance at its retail assets in Britain and France in the third quarter ended 9 November.
Sales at the group's shopping centre portfolio in Britain rose 5.3 per cent on a like for like basis, while its French shopping centre saw like for like sales increase 6.2 per cent.
Occupancy levels were reported as rising, with UK retail occupancy up from 94.5 per cent at the end of 2009 and 95.6 per cent at the end of June to 96.0 per cent at the end of September.
In France occupancy at the end of September was 98.1 per cent, up from 97.9 per cent at the end of June but down from 98.5 per cent at the end of 2009.
Office occupancy reached 95.9 per cent at the end of September, up from 94.9 per cent at the end of June and above the 91.6 per cent at the end of 2009.
The group as a whole saw occupancy levels rise from 95.2 per cent at the end of 2009 to 96.2 per cent at the end of June and to 96.6 per cent at the end of September.
Hammerson said that deficit reduction plans in both Britain and France could put pressure on consumer spending and that as a result the group was "cautious about the outlook".
David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson, said, "We have made excellent progress since June. In line with our stated strategy we have realised cash through asset disposals and have substantial resources available for investment in assets offering good growth prospects. We have achieved an encouraging number of new lettings, improving occupancy, and made good progress with a number of our development projects.
"We continue to benefit from our focus on modern properties in prime locations. Despite the uncertain economic backdrop, the trading performance at our regionally dominant shopping centres has been good and there is some evidence of a recovery in tenant demand. We are seeing strong investment demand for prime property in both the UK and France."
By 16:35 shares in Hammerson were up 0.73 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 430.00 pence per share.