16 March 2020, 07:30 AM CET
The situation regarding the outbreak in Europe of COVID-19 (‘Corona-virus’) is having an unprecedented impact on the business in our shopping centers.
In Belgium it was announced on March 13, 2020 that non-essential stores are closed during the weekends, for now until April 3, 2020. In France, starting March 15, 2020, all non-essential stores are closed throughout the country. In the Netherlands, the F&B sector has been closed down as from March 15, 2020. For other retailers no official restrictions have been put in place as of yet, but we do recognize significant risks to the operations of these retailers.
These circumstances will not waive any contractual rental obligations unless otherwise directed by local law or regulations. However, Wereldhave will determine on a case-by-case basis how to deal with the contractual obligations of tenants during these extraordinary circumstances. In order to safeguard the Company’s liquidity profile, Wereldhave will postpone any additional capital expenditures where realistically possible.
Given the current lack of visibility over the likely duration of the epidemic, it is not currently possible to measure the impact this will have on the Company’s 2020 EPRA EPS.
Health and safety of our guests, tenants, partners and employees are of the highest priority for Wereldhave. Our COVID-19 crisis team will continue to monitor the situation while maintaining the business continuity as much as possible.