Foot traffic has returned to, and in some cases exceeded, pre COVID-19 levels across Kiwi Property’s shopping centre portfolio, the business announced on Monday.
Since New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 and business resumed regular trading on 14 May, Kiwi Property saw average pedestrian count up 1 per cent on the same period the year before, with Sylvia Park in Auckland and The Plaza in Palmerston North recovering particularly well.
“Kiwi Property has taken a number of steps to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 across its business and to support its tenants,” the business wrote in a statement on the NZX.
“These measures include a comprehensive cost control programme and rent relief measures for affected retailers, and SMEs.”
According to the property firm negotiations with tenants are still ongoing, and it expects an impact of around $20 million, or $14 million after tax, due to abatements to tenants unable to trade during the lockdown period.
Cost control measures included the suspension of all non-essential capital projects and operating expenditure, as well as a 20 per cent pay cut to all executive team members, and a salary freeze across all employees.
And while just a month ago the firm confirmed it would not pay its final dividend due to the inherent uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it now intends to pay an interim dividend for the year ending 31 March.
“We’re committed to delivering for all our stakeholders through this difficult time, including supporting our tenants, enhancing our communities and creating value for our shareholders,” Chief executive Clive Mackenzie said during the business’ FY20 results announcement in May.