Company behind Trinity Leeds reports 'encouraging' levels of footfall

Commercial landlord Landsec, the company behind the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, has promised to resume paying out dividends to shareholders after it managed to collect 60 per cent of the rent due on June 24.

Landsec has provided an update for the stock exchange.

The company said that tenants had paid £65 million out of the £109 million that was due at the end of the second quarter.

The company said that 79% of its retail units are trading and 16 of 18 leisure parks were open as of June 30.

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Landsec bosses said that they had seen “encouraging levels” of footfall since shopping centres, outlets and retail parks were allowed to reopen.

In the two weeks since non-essential retail shops welcomed customers back in England, the firm said footfall reached 60% of last year’s levels at its centres.

And those counted in the footfall figures are spending more money, perhaps as pent-up demand is released, with the value of the average transaction 22% higher compared to a year earlier.

This morning, the company issued an update on June rent collection.

It said: "In line with Government guidance, our shopping centres, outlets and retail parks are open, with encouraging levels of footfall. Our high-quality office estate is open and we are seeing early signs of growing occupancy as customers return to work. Construction continues at our committed development scheme at 21 Moorfields, EC2, and we are progressing the build-to-grade works at our other sites.

The statement added: "All of our office properties have remained open, and we continue to work with our customers as they plan their return to our buildings.

"Following the easing of restrictions on non-essential retail in England, Scotland and Wales, all our shopping centres, outlets and retail parks are open. As at 30 June, 79% of the retail units were trading and 16 of our 18 leisure parks were open. Our Accor managed hotels remain closed to the general public. Accor will phase the opening of the hotels over the next three months."

"In England, for the two-week period since non-essential retail opened on 15 June, footfall in our centres was 60% of the level achieved in the equivalent period last year and like-for-like store sales were 80% of the level achieved last year. Over the same two-week period, average transaction values were up 22% compared with last year."

Landsec said it remained in a financially robust position.

The statement added: "The board has reviewed the position on future dividend payments and intends to reinstate payments following the half-yearly results announcement on 10 November 2020. The size and timing of our interim dividend will be confirmed with the publication of the half-yearly results."

Landsec is one of the largest real estate companies in Europe with a £12.8bn portfolio which includes Piccadilly Lights in the West End, Westgate Oxford and Trinity Leeds.

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