EPP unscathed by Sunday trading ban

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EPP unscathed by Sunday trading ban

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Published Date: 2019-03-08 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

EPP unscathed by Sunday trading ban

The Polish shopping centre owner says more than 100 million customers visited its centres last year.

EPP, the Dutch-based real estate company previously called Echo Polska Properties, says the introduction of a Sunday trading ban hasn't had a significant impact on its shopping centres in Poland, with footfall and tenant sales rising last year. The Polish property investor says more than 100 million customers visited its centres as it grew its footprint across the country.

The group increased the scale of its business significantly over 2018, adding 240,00 square metres of quality retail space to its portfolio as it took possession of the first tranche of the M1 portfolio of shopping centres. The €359 million transaction has made it a dominant player in Poland's retail property sector. It also bought Kings Cross Marcelin, a 45,393 square metre centre located in the affluent western part of Poznan. The group now holds 684,000 square metres of retail space, up 54% from 2017.

Its flagship Warsaw-based shopping centre Mlociny will add a further 84,400 square metres when it opens in the second quarter of the year. The centre is more than 90% pre-leased, with several retailers who will be opening in Poland for the first time expected to debut in the shopping centre.

Over the year to end-December, EPP grew net rental income by 4.2%. Net operating income rose 38% to €143 million and distributable earnings increased by 26% to €96 million. Its distributable earnings per share were 6.7% higher at 11.60 euro cents.

It expects its core portfolio to perform well this year, with net operating income likely to rise by between 2% and 3% on a like-for-like basis. It's not providing a dividend per share forecast, however, as this will depend on the outcome and timing of a number of initiatives to reduce its loan-to-value LTV.





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