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Surprise move by shopping centre investor given tough retail backdrop

The UK’s biggest shopping centre owner, Intu Properties (INTU), has lifted its dividend for the first time in 10 years. The payout moves from 13.7p to 14p on the back of 7% increase in underlying profit for 2016 to £200m. The show of faith is at odds with the uncertainty around Brexit and its impact on consumer confidence and a retail sector digesting higher business rates. Jefferies analyst Mike Prew is not convinced that Intu is a good investment at present, reiterating a 229p price target and ‘underperform’ recommendation. Intu presently trades at 290p.

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