Press Dossier   News Category    Economy    Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres reveals total COVID-19 exposure more than $154m

Arab News, Wednesday, Jun 23, 2021 | Zul Qaadah 12, 1442

Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres reveals total COVID-19 exposure more than $154m

Saudi Arabia: Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres revealed its total COVID-19-related exposure to revenues was about SR579 million ($154.2 million).

The retail giant on Tuesday reported a 24 percent decline in full-year net income to SR486.7 million as overall sales fell more than 15 percent to SR1.86 billion.

It said the decrease in earnings was driven by discounts extended to tenants whose business had been disrupted by the pandemic. At the same time it was hit by a reduction in rental rates applied to leases renewed during the year

The mall operator said it extended SR 241.2 million in non-recurring, COVID-19-related discounts during the year on top of the extension of SR20.4 million in such discounts during the final quarter of last year.

Arabian Centres operates 21 sites in 11 cities around the Kingdom that together have 4,300 stores and which attracted 109 million visitors annually before the pandemic hit.

Despite its devastating impact on the retail sector in the Kingdom and worldwide, CEO Faisal Al-Jedaie said that the recovery was gathering pace.

“As the economy recovers and decisive progress is made against COVID-19 in the quarters ahead, we expect our efforts to begin bearing fruit, leading to a significant recovery in performance and unlocking the next stage of the company’s value creation journey,” he said.

After suspending all lease increases for this year and last, the company said it hoped to re-activate lease contract escalations from the last quarter of next year.

The company said it had opened cinemas at 10 of its 21 locations, with the largest of these located at its Mall of Dhahran. It expects to launch new cinemas at a further nine locations by the end of the year.

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