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Landsec welcomes ‘encouraging’ return of footfall

Landsec has announced that its shopping centres, outlets and retail parks have welcomed “encouraging” levels of footfall since their reopening last month.

The retail property giant said that as of 30 June, 79% of its retail units were once again trading.

Since non-essential retail opened on 15 June in England, footfall in its centres was 60% of the level reported the year prior, while like-for-like store sales were 80% of the level achieved last year. 

Since its centres reopened, however, the average transaction values were up 22% compared with last year.

In its latest update, Landsec said that £122m of rent was due on 24 June, with £109 of net debt due when taking concessions and deferrals into account. 

According to the group, 60% of the net rent due was paid within five working days, compared with 94% for the equivalent period last year. 

Of the amount outstanding, £3m relates to customers who have withheld payment pending documentation of agreed concessions.

In light of the ongoing crisis, Landsec noted that some customers were taking longer to pay their rent, and that it would “continue to have supportive and constructive dialogue” with these customers. 

In total, 75% of rent due on 25 March has now been received, up from the 65% collected after five working days. 

Overall, £30m of rent due on 25 March remains outstanding, of which £5m relates to concessions and deferred payments which have subsequently been agreed with customers.

At the beginning of the crisis in March, Landsec established a fund to provide up to £80m of rent relief and, to date, £9m of concessions has been allocated to customers. 

The group said that it expects to make further allocations of the fund, particularly as the commercial rent moratorium comes to an end. In addition, £4m of deferred payments have been agreed with retail and leisure customers. 

Looking ahead, Landsec said it remains in a “financially robust” position, with £1.20bn of cash and available facilities. 

In light of this, its board said it has made the decision to reinstate dividend payments following the half-yearly results announcement on 10 November 2020. 

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