EPP cashes in as Poland lifts most Covid restrictions
Landlord optimistic about prospects as economy appears set for revival from pandemic
EPP, which is listed on the JSE but operates in Poland, said on Tuesday the lifting of the remaining restrictions have boosted sales at its shopping centres.
The reopening of almost all sectors of the economy since May 28 has enable Poles to resume travel, visit restaurants, go to the cinema or a concert, watch live sport and, from 26 June, party in a nightclub.
Lifting the majority of restrictions is due to, among other things, the progress of the national vaccination programme in Poland.
By June 17, 26-million Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the country and 42% of the population had received at least one shot.
“A reduction in the Covid-19 infection rates in Poland and the EU, a growing level of immunity to Covid-19 and good forecasts for the Polish economy allow us to look ahead with optimism,” CEO Tomasz Trzósło said.
EPP said also announced that it was looking to offload some assets, either through outright sales or via joint ventures. However, the company said it wanted to see stability in the retail environment before proceeding with the move.
EPP and other Polish landlords gave their tenants millions of euros in rental relief in 2020 while they could not trade during lockdowns.
EPP, which owns about 29 shopping centres and six office portfolios, was valued at about €2bn (R34bn) in March. It opted not to pay a dividend for the year to end-December 2020, citing uncertainty Covid-19.
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