Vukile Property Fund, a real estate investment trust with half of its 35 billion rand ($2.44 billion) investments in South Africa and the other half in Spain, reported that trading at its retail properties across the two countries was largely back to pre-Covid levels.
The owner of 45 shopping centres in South Africa and 18 centres in Spain, said yesterday in a pre-close statement for the six months to Aug. 31 that 473 shops across six of its shopping centres had been affected by the violence and looting seen in South Africa in July.
Sales had recovered at its rural South African centres to 110 percent of pre-Covid levels, township centres were at 102 percent, and urban centres to 92 percent. Footfall was still lagging, however, with rural centres at 92 percent of pre-Covid levels, township centres at 89 percent and urban centres at 70 percent.
In Spain, where the group holds 17.1 billion rand ($1.2 billion) of its property portfolio, sales had surpassed 100 percent of 2019 levels by June 2021. Larger basket sizes and higher conversion rates were driving sales, Vukile said.
Larger retailers like Inditex, JYSK, Primark, Kiwoko and IKEA are expanding their portfolios and wanted new space, opening new stores across Spain, the statement added.
Hundreds of businesses have been hit by July’s riots, but developers and retailers are optimistic.