Picture: BLOOMBERG/BRYAN VAN DER BEEK
Picture: BLOOMBERG/BRYAN VAN DER BEEK

Global Trade Centre, which owns properties in capital cities across Eastern and Central Europe, says it could delay a decision on distributions as the coronavirus disrupts economic activity.

The group focuses on Poland and capital cities in Eastern and Southern Europe — Belgrade, Budapest, Bucharest, Zagreb and Sofia. European countries have restricted trading at malls.

Global Trade Centre said on Thursday that while the ultimate effects of the virus were unknown, it clearly posed substantial risks and the company may defer development activity and distributions.

“Just before signing the financial statements it became apparent that the economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 virus and the increased uncertainty might be reflected in the future in lower asset valuations and increased volatility in the financial markets, as well as impact on the company’s compliance with financial covenants,” the statement read.

At the end of December, it had 46 completed commercial buildings, including 41 office buildings and five retail properties.

The group reported that profit fell almost a fifth to €75.4m (R1.42bn) in its year to end-December, partially due to a higher tax burden.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za