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Shopping Centres

Westfield owner sees Q1 shopping centre turnover drop 42.8%

According to the group, the quarter saw an average of 42 days on average of closure, when compared to 13 days last year

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), the owner of Westfield, saw a 30.1% year-on-year decline to £313.6m for its shopping centre revenues in Q1 2021.

The group’s total turnover for the period fell 42.8% to £393.2m, as the company’s operations remained strongly impacted by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

According to the group, the quarter saw an average of 42 days on average of closure, when compared to 13 days last year.

URW’s UK sites were the hardest hit in terms of turnover, dropping 63.1% and £14.2m from £22.4m in Q1 2020 to 9.5m this year.

Jean-Marie Tritant, CEO at URW, said: “The group’s performance in the quarter was strongly impacted, and we anticipate 2021 to remain very challenging with tougher and longer restrictions impacting the group beyond Q1.

“While we saw encouraging leasing activity as brands continue to choose our locations in preparation for the post Covid-19 market rebound, our overall vacancy rate did increase slightly in Q1 as a result of the lagged impact of the pandemic on retailers.”

Looking ahead, the group claimed that while it anticipates continuing impacts on its full year 2021 results, the return of footfall across its sites is cause for “confidence” into 2022.

Trident added: “The strong return of UK footfall, reaching 75% of 2019 levels and 1.2 million visits in the first week after reopening, despite ongoing indoor F&B and entertainment closures, is an encouraging sign of the appetite we expect to see across all markets.”

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