South African Mall Sector Hit by Pandemic

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Sandton City Shopping Mall, South Africa. Shutterstock.

Liberty Two Degrees, a South African retail estate investment trust with stakes in high street malls such as Sandton City Mall, Eastgate Complex, and Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg, reported a more than 50 percent decrease in its annual profit on Monday. According to financial results reported by Moneyweb, the company’s headline earnings per share reduced by 56.6 percent and its profit from operations saw a 48.8 percent decline between December 2019 and December 2020.

The company points to reduced foot traffic, lower rental income, and the temporary closure of shops and hotels due to Covid-19. As pandemic related restrictions ease in South Africa, the company forecasts a strong resurgence for many of their locations. According to financial reports, the turnover for Sandton City, which is home to brands like Burberry, Christian Dior and Gucci, was down only 1.5 percent in December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

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