Great Portland Estates pledges to pay suppliers on time

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In its COVID-19 trading update, Great Portland Estates has revealed it is continuing regular payments to suppliers and has suspended activity on two of its three development sites

Great Portland Estates announced it would maintain regular payments to suppliers to ‘ensure their cash flow is maintained given the challenging economic backdrop’.

The company also revealed that its properties were operating in line with UK government guidelines. All of its occupied buildings remain operation, and that it has suspended activity on two of its three development sites.

Great Portland Estates announced it has collected 62.9% of quarterly rent due within seven working days of the March quarter day, with a further 4.5% expected imminently; more than 60% of the outstanding rent is from occupiers in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The firm said it expected to deliver its annual results to 31 March 2020 in line with the existing timetable on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

Weather the coronavirus impact

Toby Courtauld, chief executive of Great Portland Estates, commented: “Despite these unprecedented conditions, the GPE team is pulling together well, focussing on our top priorities of the safety and wellbeing of our occupiers, suppliers and employees and ensuring that our portfolio is as prepared as can be for a potentially prolonged period of lockdown.

“However long the coronavirus lasts, with our low gearing and ample liquidity, GPE is well-positioned to weather the impact until market conditions normalise.

“In the meantime, unsurprisingly, we expect leasing activity to decline until the crisis passes, particularly in retail, although it is pleasing that a number of our office pre-letting negotiations are ongoing and we continue to receive new enquiries from prospective occupiers.”

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