Retail property group Capital & Regional said that while the closure of some retailers under lockdown weighed on its rent collection, it remained optimistic as more tenants reopened their businesses.

The UK-focused property group with a portfolio of seven community shopping centres said it had seen an increase of tenants resuming trading since the easing of restrictions on June 15, allowing for non-essential retailers to reopen. To date, 470 stores — 74% of its units — in its shopping centres are operating from just 68 stores in early May.

“It remains too early to quantify the medium and longer term impacts of Covid-19 on the group’s operations,” the company said in an update.

The group said it had collected about 40% of all rent that was due from March 25 to date, including rents payable on both a quarterly and monthly basis.

“While it is clear that Covid-19 is rapidly accelerating, [and despite] a number of structural trends that were already under way in retail industry, we continue to believe the group’s focus on local community centres providing nondiscretionary and essential goods and services will help mitigate the group on a relative basis, and provides the business with a sound base in these unprecedented times,” the company said.

Capital & Regional said it had a cash on balance sheet of more than £81m (R1.7bn) on June 30 and a credit facility of £15m available until January 2022.

At 10.15am, the company's share price was up 4.94% to R18.68 while it had fallen 65% so far in 2020.


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