Shopping centre owner Capital & Regional has announced it has so far collected only half of its second-quarter rent from tenants as the economic impact of coronavirus continues to hit the retail sector.
In the previous year, Capital & Regional had received 80% of its second-quarter rents by this point.
The company owns seven shopping centres in the UK in Blackburn, Hemel Hempstead, Ilford, Luton, Maidstone, Walthamstow and Wood Green.
“We are in active discussions with all our retailer customers on the outstanding rents, appreciating these are challenging times. With our larger chain store and multiple-unit retailers, we are in dialogue to understand and assess the impact that the relief measures announced by the government could potentially have on their businesses and anticipate further collections as we work through these discussions,” said Capital & Regional.“We are likewise engaging with our smaller independent retailers as to how we are best able to offer support, sensitive particularly to the impact that the current situation is having on them.”
The company said it has total cash of £90m, equivalent to around a year’s worth of revenue, and has £15m in undrawn funds from a revolving credit facility. The earliest maturity on any other loans is February 2023.
“It is too early to quantify the overall impact of Covid-19 on the group’s operations,” said the company. “While there will clearly be a significant level of disruption, the group’s focus on non-discretionary goods and services will help mitigate this and provides a sound base for the business when conditions allow a return to a more normalised trading environment.
“A significant part of the company’s focus for the immediate future is on maintaining liquidity during the current period of disruption.”
Fellow shopping centre owner Hammerson announced yesterday that it had so far received just 37% of rent billed for the second quarter. It follows Intu’s announcement last week that it had received only 29% of rent due, compared with 77% received for the same period in 2019.