Intu expects rent collections to tumble by £181.6m

intu Lakeside
intu Lakeside

Shopping centre owner, Intu has said it expects the amount it collects from rents and service charges to nosedive by £181.6 million this year.

The embattled property owner expects rents and service charges collected across its shopping centres to total £310 million in the 12 months to December 31, compared to £491.6 million last year.

But the business has predicted that its liquidity position will improve in 2021 when the sector is expected to return to normal trading conditions.

The fall is mainly the result of the coronavirus outbreak, as most tenants have been forced to close stores during lockdown which has impacted their ability to pay rent.

Intu currently has a near £4.5 billion debt pile. Last month, the shopping centre owner secured debt waivers until 26 June but said it still expected to breach its debt commitments by this deadline amid falling rental payments.

The business also recently revealed its plans on how it will begin the gradual reopening of non-essential retail stores at its 14 centres nationwide in line with government guidelines.

Intu said individual plans have been drawn up for each centre to “keep everyone who visits or works there safe.”

New social distancing and hygiene procedures have been put in place to support the reopenings.