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Capital & Regional collects 34% of June rent, says footfall improving

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 03 Jul 2020

(Sharecast News) - Capital & Regional said on Friday that it has received just over a third of the rent for the third quarter of the year that was due in June and that footfall at its shopping centres was improving.

The company said it has received or expects to receive imminently 34% of the rent due. In total, it has collected about 40% of all rents that have fallen due from 25 March to the present day, incorporating rents payable on both a quarterly and monthly basis.

Capital & Regional noted that all seven of its community shopping centres have remained open throughout lockdown, with the lifting of restrictions on non-essential retailers on 15 June leading to a "significant increase" in the number of tenants now back trading.

There are now 470 stores open and trading, up from 68 in early May. This represents 74% of units with a further 10% having confirmed dates for re-opening.

"We are working closely with the remaining retailers to re-open as soon as possible noting only 5% of our retailers are currently not authorised to open," it said.

Footfall for the week ending 28 June was around 55% of the equivalent week in the prior year and 97% higher than the last week before Covid-19 restrictions were eased.

Capital & Regional said feedback from many of its retailers is that average transaction values have risen compared to the same period a year ago, with shoppers making "focused purpose led visits".

As at 30 June, the company had total cash on balance sheet of more than £81m, which is equivalent to more than one year's gross revenue. In addition, it has an undrawn revolving credit facility of £15m available until January 2022.

"It remains too early to quantify the medium and longer term impacts of Covid-19 on the group's operations," Capital said.

"Whilst it is clear that Covid-19 is rapidly accelerating a number of structural trends that were already under way in retail industry, we continue to believe the group's focus on local community centres providing non-discretionary and essential goods and services will help mitigate the group on a relative basis and provides the business with a sound base in these unprecedented times."

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