EPP delays payment of €53m in dividends due to coronavirus
Payout postponed to end-June while property group continues to assess environment
Poland’s largest retail landlord, EPP, has delayed payment of €53m (R1bn) in dividends for its year to end-December due to uncertainty over the coronavirus.
The dividend has been delayed to end-June, but the property group said it continues to assess its environment as the pandemic causes trading restrictions.
The group said it has immediately implemented strict cost-cutting measures and further optimised operations by deferring all non-essential capital expenditure and minimising operational costs.
EPP said it is still awaiting details of a government aid package in that country to be finalised, and that it remains well capitalised.
EPP, formerly known as Echo Polska Properties, reported that distributable income per share grew 0.2% to 11.62 euro cent during its year to end-December, in line with its guidance.
Net property income rose 3.8% to €148.1m in the period.
The JSE and Luxembourg-listed EPP is the largest owner of retail real estate assets in Poland, with its portfolio of 32 properties having a total leasable area of more than 1-million square metres.
Redefine Properties, which owns 45.4% of EPP, said on Monday it has consequently delayed its decision on a dividend for its half year to end-February. The decision has been deferred until the release of its full-year results.
Redefine had expected distributable earnings for its year to end-August to fall 5%-7%, but the group has also withdrawn this guidance.