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Scentre plunges to $3.6b loss as pandemic sinks value of malls

It reported an unrealised non-cash reduction of $4 billion in the value of its vast Westfield shopping centre portfolio.

The result mirrors its rival Vicinity Centres, the country’s second largest shopping centre landlord, which saw $1.79 billion wiped off the value of its extensive portfolio from COVID-19.

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At its peak, the pandemic gutted foot traffic in major shopping centres across the country, forcing multiple shops to close and putting significant pressure on rental income from tenants.

“We acknowledge that this has been a difficult time for our customers and our retail partners,” Scentre’s chief executive Peter Allen said.

As customers return to Westfield’s centres in states where harsh social distancing restrictions are being relaxed, more than 93 per cent of retail stores were open across the portfolio excluding its Victorian centres.

The portfolio’s occupancy was 98.8 per cent at the end of June 2020.

The mall owner and manager reported funds from operations – a key industry measure of profitability – of $362 million or 6.96¢ per security.

More to come

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