Westfield owner URW reports 14.2 drop in global net rental income

Shopping centre operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) has reported a 14.2 percent drop in net rental income across its global destinations for the first half of the year to 1 billion euros (960 million pounds).

Collections for its UK destinations were down 34.1 percent.

In mid-March, almost all of the company’s centres were forced to close. As of June 30, 97 percent of the stores within URW’s European centres were open. In the US, 77 percent of its stores and 86 percent of GLA had reopened as of the same date. Footfall in the European centres has shown “an encouraging recovery”, the company said.

It collected 67 percent of rents from its shopping centres in H1, with 3 percent of Q2 rents forgiven through rent relief, 20 percent deferred either by agreement or by application of law, and 39 percent overdue and to be recovered.

As at July 24, collection for July stood at 50percent. “The Group expects an improvement following completion of ongoing tenant negotiations regarding COVID-19 assistance,” it said.

Christophe Cuvillier, group CEO, said: “After the reopening, the footfall and sales have been recovering better than anticipated. This shows our centres continue to be attractive destinations for people to visit and will see further increases in activity as life returns to normal. During the crisis, URW successfully focused on preserving liquidity, by raising funds on the debt markets, deferring non-essential CAPEX, reducing the pipeline, cancelling the final dividend and implementing cost savings.

The Group now has a record 12.7 billion euros of cash and undrawn credit facilities available. Despite the adverse conditions, the Group successfully closed the disposal of a 54.2 percent stake in a portfolio of five French centres. URW is committed to de-leveraging, and reiterates its plans to dispose the remaining 4 billion euros of its asset disposal programme over the next couple of years.”

Photo credit: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

 

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