Hadley Dean, CEO of Echo Polska Properties. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Hadley Dean, CEO of Echo Polska Properties. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

JSE-listed Polish retail property group Echo Polska Properties (EPP) on Friday kept its interim distribution almost unchanged amid a fall in profit in the six-months to end-June, but said it was upbeat about the prospects of the Polish economy as its expansion drive continues. 

Net profit for the six months fell 56% to €34m, but distributable income rose 9% to €52.6m. The group declared an interim dividend of 5.80 euro cents, down marginally from the prior period’s 5.82c.

Net property income rose 8.5% to €71.8m and the value of investment properties exceeded €2.46bn.

Total net asset value (NAV) amounted to €1.2bn, equating to NAV per share of €1.33.

The net loan-to-value ratio fell 2.1 percentage points to 49.8%.

At 30 June 2019 the company managed a portfolio of 24 retail centres and six high-quality offices located in the majority of regional cities in Poland, up from 19 properties in the prior period.

By the end of 2020 EPP expects to own 28 shopping centres, with the company saying it was upbeat about the prospects of the Polish economy.

The group has been battling the effect on a ban on Sunday trading in Poland, first implemented in 2018, but said on Thursday consumer habits had changed, as expected.

“This resulted in an increase in footfall of 2% and sales up 6%. Vacancies remain very low with the retail portfolio nearly fully occupied,” the statement read.

Correction: September 9 2019.

An earlier version of this article state that EPP's loan-to-value declined 1.1 percentage points during the period, when it had in fact declined 2.1 percentage points. Business Day regrets the error.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za