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NewRiver trading in line as rent collection improves

By Sean Farrell

Date: Friday 14 Aug 2020

NewRiver trading in line as rent collection improves

(Sharecast News) - NewRiver Real Estate said trading was in line with expectations as rent collection improved and disposals increased at the shopping centre operator.
The investment trust said it had collected or agreed revised payment terms for 80% of the rent demanded in the second quarter with 60% collected.

For rents due between 25 March and 1 June collections and revised terms now cover 84%, up from 75% reported in June. Collections rose to 64% from 52%.

NewRiver said it had completed or agreed disposals worth £52.5m, up from £30.3m in June. Overall the sale prices are in line with March valuations. The company said it was in talks about further sales as it seeks to dispose of up to £100m of assets.

The company said 93% of its retail tenants were open after lockdown and the rest are expected to reopen in the coming weeks. Retail occupancy is 93.4%, 1% below march, NewRiver said. Footfall has increased and is 7% better than the wider UK market, the owner of Gloucester Green in Oxford and the Arndale Centre, Morecambe, said.

Retail and restaurant chains have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis and are closing stores and cutting jobs but NewRiver said its shopping centres and retail parks were insulated from some of the worst trends in the sector.

"We continue to have limited exposure to the structurally challenged retail sub-sectors that have been particularly impacted by Covid-19, with no department stores in our portfolio, minimal exposure to mid-market fashion, and no exposure to casual dining operators such as Byron, Carluccio's, or any of the brands owned by The Restaurant Group or The Big Table Group."

The company's pubs have performed solidly since the end of lockdown and 90% are open, NewRiver said. Like-for-like sales are down 15% in leased and tenanted pubs and 13% in owner-operated pubs since 4 July.

NewRiver shares rose 5.4% to 64.4p at 08:25 BST.


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