About 23percent of its occupiers by contracted rent remained trading. Of the rent for the second quarter that was due on March 25, the company had or expected to receive about 50percent, compared to a typical collection rate of at least 80percent at the equivalent time, the company said.
“We are in active discussions with all our retailer customers on the outstanding rents With our larger chain stores and multiple unit retailers we are in dialogue to understand and assess the impact that the relief measures announced by the government could potentially have on their businesses, and anticipate further collections as we work through these discussions,” the directors said.
The company was also engaging with its smaller independent retailer tenants as to how best to offer support. “It is too early to quantify the overall impact of Covid-19 on the group’s operations.
While there will clearly be a significant level of disruption, the focus on non-discretionary goods and services will help mitigate this, and provides a sound base for the business when conditions allow a return to a more normalised trading environment,” the group said.
As at close of business on March 25, the group had total cash on the balance sheet of more than £90 million (R1.9billion).