// Intu predicts the amount of rent it collects will drop by £181.6m this year
// The shopping centre owner has been heavily impacted by tough trading conditions
Intu has said it expects the amount it collects from rents and service charges to tumble by £181.6 million this year.
The shopping centre owner has been heavily impacted by tough trading conditions, which have been exasperated by the Covid-19 crisis.
Most tenants have had to close shops during the lockdown, impacting their ability to pay rent.
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Intu currently has a near £4.5 billion debt pile.
The embattled property owner expects rents and service charges collected across its shopping centres to total £310 million in the 12 months to December 31, compared to £491.6 million last year.
But it predicted that its liquidity position will improve in 2021 when the sector is expected to return to normal trading conditions.
Last month, Intu revealed that it was seeking standstill-based agreements with creditors as it struggles with the Covid-19 disruption and expected covenant breaches.
The firm said it would “likely” breach its covenants at the end of June and is negotiating with its lenders to freeze its debts during the pandemic.
Intu secured debt waivers until June 26, and said the standstill agreements would seek to allow it to halt testing and repayments of debt facilities until no later than December 2021.
It has now drawn up plans on how it will begin the gradual reopening of non-essential retail stores at its 14 centres nationwide in line with government guidelines.
Intu said individual plans have been drawn up for each centre to “keep everyone who visits or works there safe”.
New social distancing and hygiene procedures have been put in place to support the reopenings.