By Edward West for IOL
Attacq, the real estate investment trust (Reit) that holds Mall of Africa and Waterfall City among its assets, said the easing of lockdown restrictions from March 1, 2021 had resulted in a marked improvement in trading density growth at its retail centres.
All its tenants were able to trade with minimal restrictions, the group said yesterday in an update of its retail portfolio’s trading performance, and progress made to improve its capital structure.
At Mall of Africa, trading density improved 33 percent versus March 2020, compared with a 0.8 percent decline recorded in February over the same month a year before, and a 14.1 percent decline in January on the same basis.
Brooklyn Mall saw trading density up 7 percent on the same basis, compared with a 17 percent decline in February and a 14.1 percent decline in January.
Eikestad Mall saw trading density up 12.7 percent in March, versus a 24.5 percent decline in February and a 30.6 percent decline in January.
Attacq’s operations for the first six months of the 2021 financial year had been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic’s second wave of infections and further national lockdown restrictions.
Post-December 31, Attacq settled 35.8 million euro of euro debt from proceeds of the disposal of MAS Real Estate shares, significantly de-risking foreign exchange risk.
Assuming the debt repayment took place on July 1, 2020, Attacq’s gearing ratio at December 31, 2020 would have improved to 44.1 percent from 46.3 percent.
Attacq had also started refinancing its R3.3 billion syndicated loan secured by the portfolios of its subsidiaries, Attacq Retail Fund Proprietary and Lynnwood Bridge Office Park, R2.9bn of which matures during the 2022 calendar year.
The refinance was expected to be implemented by June 30, 2021, while the balance of the loan of R300m was expected to be repaid with proceeds from the sale of assets.
Attacq’s share price increased 1.1 percent to R7.38 on the JSE yesterday afternoon. It was trading at R5.12 at the same day last year.
The share closed 1.37 percent higher at R7.40 on the JSE yesterday.