Westfield reports 'strong post COVID-19 recovery' in Q1 2022 turnover
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, owner of Westfield London and Westfield Stratford, has reported a proportionate turnover for Q1 2022 of £897.1 million, up 34.2% year-on-year, reflecting strong post COVID-19 recovery and asset deliveries.
Gross rental income for the shopping centre division amounted on a proportionate basis to €622.4 million for Q1-2022, an increase of 31.7% due to a base effect of rent relief provided in Q1-2021, when lockdowns were in place.
Sales reached 93% of 2019 levels in Q1 and 95% in March. Due to more productive visits, sales continue to outperform footfall, which came to 82% of 2019 levels in Q1 and 84% in March.
Tenant sales at 93% of 2019 levels in Q1 and 95% in March, whilst rent collection improved to 93% for Q1 and is expected to improve further as operating conditions normalise.
The group added that leasing activity remained "strong" with 521 deals signed in Q1, up +4% compared to 2019, with the proportion of long-term deals increased to 60%.
Based on Q1 performance, including the improved collection levels and sustained leasing activity, the group confirms its 2022 AREPS guidance of €8.20 to €8.40 per share, while the Group continues to "closely monitor the potential impact of the wider economic and geopolitical situation on its markets".
Commenting on the first quarter of 2022, Jean-Marie Tritant, Chief Executive Officer said: "Our portfolio of Flagship destinations in the wealthiest cities and catchment areas performed well in Q1, demonstrating the continued strength of the recovery.
"The vital role our centres play in the omnichannel strategy of leading brands was also illustrated by strong leasing performance. We signed more deals than in Q1-2019, realising an MGR uplift of +6%. We also laid the foundations for our strategy to grow media revenues by converting our footfall into qualified audiences."