Resilient says shoppers have changed their approach


Resilient says shoppers have changed their approach

Published Date: 2020-07-01 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Resilient says shoppers have changed their approach

The shopping centre owner says non-metropolitan malls have recovered quicker and consumers are doing their shopping closer to home.

Resilient Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) says trading conditions at its shopping centres have improved since the easing of the national lockdown. However, it says consumers remain cautious and are tending towards value retailers at its centres. They are also not straying too far, favouring retail centres that are conveniently located and easily accessible.

In an update ahead of the end of its financial year, the property group said non-metropolitan shopping centres continued to trade better than those in urban areas. Its centres achieved strong comparable sales growth of 4.7% for the eight months to end-February. Following the impact of the lockdown, comparable sales declined by 3.2% for the 11 months to end-May. Vacancies in its portfolio increased marginally to 2.1% from 1.9% previously.

In Nigeria, its three malls were in complete lockdown during April and entertainment venues remained closed. Trading hours were restricted due to a national curfew, which had a material impact on tenants' turnover.

Resilient said it had supported tenants, particularly SMMEs and entertainment-related businesses such as cinemas and restaurants, providing R160 million in relief since the lockdown started. That's about 90% of a normalised month's rental and rates billing. It didn't provide any relief on utility charges or essential categories. Although arrears had increased, it expected them to decline as it reached rental agreements with the 10% of tenants it hadn't already settled with.

The update made no mention of a distribution but last month Resilient said it planned to continue to declare and pay dividends despite the difficult conditions. In March, it withdrew dividend guidance of 5% growth for the year due to the market uncertainty.

Its shares declined 1.6% to R43.32 yesterday.

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