Hammerson collects 31% of rents due from Irish retailers amid Covid restrictions

Company receives less than half of rents across Europe

Only a quarter of occupiers at Hammerson’s Irish properties are open. File photograph: Tom Honan

Only a quarter of occupiers at Hammerson’s Irish properties are open. File photograph: Tom Honan

 

Shopping centre operator Hammerson said it has received less than a third of the rents due in the first quarter of the year at its Irish properties as retailers grapple with new Covid-19 curbs across Europe.

The group, which co-owns Dundrum Town Centre along with Allianz, as well as stakes in the Swords Pavilions and Ilac shopping centres in Dublin, said it had collected 41 per cent of the rents due at its properties across Europe, with 31 per cent collected in Ireland, 41 per cent collected in the UK and 46 per cent in France.

The lockdowns have battered mall operators as their struggling tenants have been squeezed by stay-at-home shoppers, amid calls for rent relief and deferrals.

In Ireland, only a quarter of occupiers at Hammerson’s flagships continue to operate as a temporary ban on click-and-collect services for non-essential retail took effect. Only essential retail, takeaway and deliveries can operate.

In the UK, about a quarter of Hammerson’s occupiers are open, either offering essential retail, click and collect and takeaway and delivery services, while French retailers are being hit with a 6pm national curfew.

The group said more than half the shopping villages in its value-retail portfolio are closed as Covid-19 restrictions tightened amid a surge in cases across Europe. However, Hammerson noted performance has been robust during periods when villages have been open, and virtual-shopping services have expanded.

Hammerson has waived £21 million (€23.5 million) owed by its tenants for the 2020 fiscal year, collecting about 75 per cent of the rent due for last year. – Additional reporting: Reuters