By Joe Hoppe
Shaftesbury PLC Friday said coronavirus measures continue to affect consumer confidence and West End footfall and trading, causing it to cancel its final dividend.
The U.K. real-estate investor said measures to address the pandemic have hit its business but since the relaxation of restrictions in late June, the West End has seen the return of local and domestic leisure visitors and its office-based workforce. Most of its 611 restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops have now reopened.
The company said 41% of the rents due for the six months ended Sept. 30 have been collected, with 10% subject to deferred collection, 23% being waived and 26% outstanding as of Sept. 11.
EPRA vacancy rates rose to 9.7% as of August 31, up from 4.8% as of March 31, with residential accounting for 46% of the increase, as occupiers from overseas returned and demand from long-stay international business and leisure travelers halted.
The company added that it won't pay a final dividend for the year ended Sept. 30, but will resume dividends when it considers prudent.
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