Capital & Regional PLC (LON:CAL) said it had received roughly 50% of the latest rent payments from its tenants, with all seven of its shopping centres still open to allow supermarkets and pharmacies to continue trading through the coronavirus lockdown.
With around 23% of occupiers by contracted rent still trading, the property developer, which would typically expect to collect at least 80% of rents at this time of year, said it was in talks with all its retailer customers about the outstanding rents, acknowledging that “these are challenging times”.
Further collections for the second quarter “are expected” from larger retailers as they receive relief measures from the government, while Capital & Regional said it was seeing how it can best support smaller independent retailers.
Management said it is “too early to quantify” the overall impact of coronavirus on the group's operations, though the “focus on non-discretionary goods and services will help mitigate this”, while all non-committed capital expenditure projects have been suspended to improve cash flow.
As of 25 March, there was more than £90mln of cash on the balance sheet, equivalent to more than one year's gross revenue, as well as an undrawn borrowing facility of £15mln available until January 2022 and no debt maturity until February 2023.
Its asset-backed loan facilities each have covenants in respect of minimum interest cover ratios, both projected and historic, that are tested quarterly and where at January’s test date the headroom was a minimum of 37% of the respective annual income, with most facilities were in the range of 37% to 45%.