Losses at Hammerson doubled in the six months to the end of June as the commercial property group announced the departure of its chief executive after a decade at the helm.

However, the company said it saw signs for optimism as yields began to stabilise and lettings on new developments picked up.

John Richards, the outgoing chief executive, will retire at the end of September and be replaced by David Atkins, managing director of Hammerson’s UK business.

Richards has worked for Hammerson for 30 years and has been its chief executive for the past 10 years.

The value of Hammerson’s property portfolio fell 14% in the six months to £4.72bn. It has fallen 27% since June 2008.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph