Speaking of the financial impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, Westfield shopping centre owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has said the pandemic has had a “limited effect” on revenue in Q1 2020. However, it is expected to impact business heavily Q2.
URW said: “Covid-19 had only a limited effect on the group’s Q1 turnover as rents are billed and paid quarterly in advance in most of Europe and monthly in the US.
”The impact of the pandemic will be reflected as of Q2, although at this time it is too early to reliably estimate such impact on the group’s results for 2020.”
Turnover for the first quarter rose by 1.8 per cent to £834.2m, largely due to property development and project management revenues in the UK.
This was partly offset by disposals completed in 2019, as well as the cancellation of events in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, turnover grew by 0.8 per cent to £588m during the period.
URW said it would support its tenants throughout the pandemic through a combination of rent relief and deferral. Service charges at its shopping centres have since been reduced.
From 20 April, Westfield centres began to reopen in Germany, and the company has said that Austria is expected to follow on 2 May, Poland on 4 May, France, the Czech Republic and Denmark on 11 May, and Spain between 24 May and 3 June.
URW said it was ready to safely reopen its centres and comply with all applicable health and safety regulations.