Apr 2, 2020
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Landsec says Covid-19 is hurting it but it has plenty of cash

Apr 2, 2020

Property giant Land Securities, which includes Bluewater in Kent and Westgate in Oxford among its part-owned flagship sites, said on Thursday that the coronavirus crisis began to impact it in the middle of March and that four of its retail outlets and seven of its leisure and retail parks are currently completely closed. Others are partially shut.

Bluewater is one of the properties that Landsec part-owns - Landsec

However, because it has a more mixed portfolio than some landlords that have a heavier focus on retail, it has managed to collect 65% of the rent that was due by the end of March. While this is much lower than the 96% it had collected this time last year, it's a much higher percentage than some giant UK property peers have managed. Retail makes up only 38% of the Landsec portfolio.

The company has established a rent relief support fund of £80 million to help its customers most in need, with a particular focus on supporting small and medium-sized businesses.

It’s also taking measures to reduce spending as far as possible and said it’s “financially robust”. Using the valuations of its properties as of September last year, it said it could stand a valuation fall of 62%. And it added that at the end of March it had £1.2 billion of cash and available facilities.

Landsec’s update came a day after smaller landlord NewRiver REIT, which hosts a lot of health & beauty and discount stores, said it had received 60% of the rents it was due. And another landlord Capital & Regional said it had received half of the rents it’s owed.

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