The strategy by Luxembourg-and JSE-listed property firm EPP to focus on retail instead of offices in Poland is starting to pay off, with dividends growing 12% in the first half of 2018. EPP, previously known as Echo Polska Properties, grew net property income 45% to €66m in the six months to end-June, with net profit doubling to €79.4m. It had benefited from strong performances at its shopping centres and its office disposal strategy was on track, CEO Hadley Dean said.

The group is focused on expanding its retail footprint, as it sees "great potential" for retail sales growth in Poland, where 71% of retail spend occurs in shopping centres. In addition to the lack of competition from high-street shopping, a growing middle class is fuelling retail spend, EPP said. "Shopping centres are seen as destinations. Many Poles attend them with their families not just to buy food and clothing but also for entertainment. "Given our weather, malls are perhaps more popular in Poland than in ...

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