French Mall Owner Klepierre’s 2020 Rental Income Takes Lockdown blow

A shopping mall. Shutterstock.

French mall owner Klepierre on Wednesday posted a 25 percent drop in 2020 net rental income, as on-and-off restrictions in its home market and the rest of Europe shuttered stores with a knock-on effect for landlords.

Klepierre, Europe’s second biggest retail property owner after Amsterdam-listed Unibail, posted net rental income from its shopping centres of 846.2 million euros ($1 billion) for 2020, down from 1.13 billion euros a year earlier.

“We plan to collect 84 percent of the total invoicing for 2020,” the group said in a statement, adding that the outstanding 108 million euros had been provisioned as credit losses.

Klepierre, the main landlord for some of Europe’s biggest retailers such as Inditex, H&M and Sephora, said these losses largely related to restaurants, movie theaters, travel agencies and bankrupt tenants.

In France, Klepierre’s largest market, it reported retailer sales down 6 percent in 2020, although these had recovered quickly after the country’s two lockdowns.

France has refrained from imposing a third national lockdown, but earlier in February announced the closure of all large shopping centres, forcing Klepierre to shut around 88 percent of its malls in the country.

The mall operator also faces non-essential shop restrictions in Italy, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Czech Republic, Spain and Norway.

For 2021, the group expects net current cash flow per share of 1.90 euros, below the 2.05 euros it posted for 2020, provided current lockdown measures are not extended past March.

Smaller rival Carmila posted a net rental income down 19 percent for 2020.

By Sarah Morland; Editing by Jan Harvey and Emelia Sithole-Matarise