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Paris, Amsterdam, July 28, 2021

Press release


First half results reflect significant COVID-19 related disruption – continued resilience in tough operating conditions

All centres now open and trading - encouraging recovery in footfall and sales data when restrictions ease

Flagship strategy endorsed by successful opening of Westfield Mall of the Netherlands and delivery of last phase of La Part-Dieu and La Maquinista extensions

Good progress on comprehensive deleveraging plan – agreed or completed €1.7 Bn in European disposals; US portfolio streamlining underway

H1-2021 in review:

  • Continued COVID-related disruption, with the Group’s centres “closed” for 68 days on average (vs. 67 days in H1-2020), despite no closures in the US(1)
  • Progressive reopening of European centres during April and May, with June footfall reaching 76% of 2019 levels and June tenant sales at 86% of 2019 levels in Europe, and reaching 100% in the US
  • Rent collection at 89% of rent due, exceeding H1-2020 despite lower collection in France due to pending decision on government support
  • Improvement in letting activity, with 1,218 deals signed, +84% vs. H1-2020 and +3% vs. H1-2019
  • Pragmatic approach to lease terms to navigate short term challenges and protect long term value, with 56% of H1-2021 deals being leases between 12 and 36 months
  • Overall vacancy stabilised in Q2 at 8.9% (vs. 8.3% at FY-20 and 8.8% at Q1-2021); vacancy down in Continental Europe from 5.4% at Q1-2021 to 5.0% at H1-2021; UK down from 12.6% to 12.2%
  • Successful opening of Westfield Mall of the Netherlands in March 2021: 94% let with around 1 million visits in both May and June
  • Further progress on European disposals with €1.7 Bn now agreed or completed out of the €4.0 Bn to be achieved by the end of 2022, including the agreed disposal of 7 Adenauer office building, for which a promissory deed of sale was signed in July 2021
  • €12.5 Bn of cash and available facilities on hand, securing refinancing needs for the next 36-months
  • IFRS LTV at 44.4% and 43.7% pro-forma for the proceeds of the sale of 45% of Shopping City Süd cashed-in in July and 7 Adenauer; H1-2021 proforma Net Financial Debt at €23.0 Bn (FY-20: €24.2 Bn)
  • Further strengthening of governance and leadership expertise with the appointment of a Chief Customer Officer to the Management Board to better address evolving consumer preferences and drive future growth in advertising, data, and omnichannel retail

Commenting on the results, Jean-Marie Tritant, Chief Executive Officer said:

“URW has demonstrated continued resilience in the face of tough operating conditions, with substantial lockdowns across our network during the period. Whenever restrictions were lifted, we have seen a recovery in both footfall and sales, in most cases at higher levels than those seen during the reopening in 2020.

Letting activity improved, as brands continue to choose URW destinations as part of their omnichannel approach. Our teams have worked hard to stabilize occupancy levels, adopting a pragmatic approach to lease structure and duration that positions URW to benefit as market conditions improve.

Throughout the first half we maintained our focus on key operational and financial priorities. This includes the successful opening of our latest flagship destination Westfield Mall of the Netherlands and marked progress in our deleveraging efforts thanks to both European disposals and the on-going streamlining of our US portfolio. This process is supported by favourable access to credit markets, giving us ample liquidity to cover all refinancing needs for the next 36 months.

While positive indicators and continued progress of the vaccination rollout give us reasons to be cautiously optimistic, the COVID-19 situation and potential government responses to it remain a source of uncertainty in terms of outlook.

I would like to once again acknowledge the commitment and tenacity of our teams in this unique period.”

 H1-2021H1-2020GrowthLike-for-like growth(2)
Net Rental Income (in € Mn)7851,065-26.2%-22.4%
   Shopping Centres7531,008-25.3%-21.8%
   Offices & Others3242-23.9%-1.0%
   Convention & Exhibition015-97.1%-97.1%
Recurring net result (in € Mn)472667-29.3% 
Recurring EPS (in €)3.414.82-29.3% 
Adjusted Recurring EPS (in €)3.244.65-30.4% 
Författare GlobeNewswire