Liberty Two Degrees welcomes shoppers back

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Liberty Two Degrees welcomes shoppers back

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Published Date: 2021-05-10 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Liberty Two Degrees welcomes shoppers back

After retail turnover was impacted by lockdown restrictions at the beginning of the year, L2D has reported a much stronger March.

Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) says its shopping centres have continued to bounce back from last year's hard lockdown. It singled out its Sandton City shopping centre, which had a "remarkable recovery", recording its highest March turnover in five years.

In an operational update, the real estate investment trust said its retail portfolio grew turnover by 27% in March compared with March 2020 when trading was impacted when the lockdown started during the last few days of the month. It attributed March's performance to the easing of latest lockdown restrictions in February.

All its shopping malls, which also include Eastgate, Nelson Mandela Square, Midlands Mall, Melrose Arch and Botshabelo, amongst others, recorded positive turnover growth compared with March 2020. The portfolio's turnover for the month was R1.3-billion, which was just 6.4% below the March 2019 levels. For the quarter as a whole, turnover was 6.4% below the first quarter of last year.

Luxury brands, which L2D claims are a differentiator in its portfolio, supported the recovery, contributing 8% towards total turnover despite only occupying 1% of the floorspace at its centres. Other strong performing categories across the portfolio included homeware and furniture, technology and apparel. While footcount at its centres in January was just 72.1% of January 2020 levels due to the lockdown restrictions that were implemented in December, this improved to 81.6% in February as restrictions were eased and reached 99.4% in March.

Occupancies in its retail portfolio were 95% in March, marginally down from December's levels. However, with the work from home trend continuing to negatively impact the office sector, the occupancy rate in its office portfolio was lower at 86.7%, largely due to further vacancies at Melrose Arch.

Rental collections, based on the full amounts due and before any rental relief, had increased month-on-month this year to 94% in April from 84% in January.

L2D plans to release a pre-close update on 28 May. Its shares rose 2.4% to R4.66 on Friday.





1 Comments

Ross Paton 8 months ago

inflation-adjusted turnover levels?



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