Westfield the latest shopping centre firm to be hit by wave of CVAs By Elias Jahshan - Retail Gazette - August 1, 2019

Westfield has joined the likes of Intu and Hammerson in becoming the latest shopping centre giant to reveal its rental income has been affected by a wave of CVAs and administrations.

For the first half of its year ending July 31, Westfield’s UK shopping centres saw like-for-like rental income decrease by 3.1 per cent.

It attributed the decline to its vacancy rate – which stood at 8.7 per cent – as a result of a growing number of retailers shutting stores through CVAs or administrations.

It also blamed the vacancy rate on leasing delays and non-renewals, brought about as a result of uncertainty around Brexit.

However, Westfield saw a 6.4 per cent uptick in footfall across UK shopping centres in the first half of the year, outperforming the wider sector by 770 bps.

It also booked sales growth from tenants in May and June, with 7.9 per cent and 7.1 per cent increases respectively.

Parent company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield attributed the sales rise to the opening of its extension at Westfield London and “the continued growth of Westfield Stratford City”.

Pete Schonbeck