Nepi Rockcastle's Plaza Arena in Budapest, Hungary. Picture: SUPPLIED
Nepi Rockcastle's Plaza Arena in Budapest, Hungary. Picture: SUPPLIED

Nepi Rockcastle, which owns malls in Central and Eastern Europe, says it is seeing a notable uptick in activity as Covid-19 lockdowns ease.

The group said in a trading update tenants occupying approximately 70% of the group's gross lettable area are open, which the group expects to increase to 94% at the end of June.

Indoor and outdoor restaurants, food courts and gyms have opened in all countries except for Romania, the group said, while visitors to malls were steadily increasing.

The group, which is the largest listed-property stock on the JSE with a market capitalisation of close to R60bn, had a portfolio of €6.3bn (R119bn) as of the end of December.

“The post-lockdown performance of our shopping centres is very encouraging, and the higher-than-expected footfall is notable especially considering that many dining and entertainment areas are just opening,” said CEO Alex Morar.

“Our top priority remains maintaining the health and safety of our customers, tenants and staff, and we have implemented all necessary measures for safe visits to our properties. The coming period will require significant collaboration between stakeholders in our industry to ensure the speedy recovery of the retail environment,” Morar said.

In morning trade on Friday, Nepi's share price was up 3.88% to R99.72, having fallen 19.47% so far in 2020. Over the same period, the JSE's property index has lost 36.43%.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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