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Property companies update on covid-19 impact

Several property companies have updated the market on the impact of covid-19 on their business, as the lockdown in the UK is extended.

Schroder REIT

Schroder REIT has drawn its revolving credit facility (RCF) with Royal Bank of Scotland International in full, totalling £52.5m, to boost its cash reserves.

Following the drawdown, the company has around £87.5m in cash. It said the move provides it with operational flexibility to capitalise on future investment opportunities.

The company’s consolidated net loan-to-value (LTV) remains unchanged at around 21% based on the 31 December 2019 valuation.

Workspace Group

Further to its update on 7 April 2020, flexible office space provider Workspace has said it is offering its tenants a rent reduction of 50% during the lockdown period.

The group said government restrictions on movement has had a material effect on the businesses of many of its customers, and it have received a large number of requests for various forms of rent relief.

Workspace is already offering customers, on a case by case basis, the opportunity to defer a proportion of their rental payments.

“We appreciate that for many customers this will only be the start of a very challenging time, and it is right that we share that burden with customers.,” said chief executive Graham Clemett.

Panther Securities

Panther Securities, the small cap property company, said it was approaching requests from tenants for rental relief on a case by case basis.

It said it was being particularly supportive of its smaller and independent tenants that are less resilient to the enforced closures.

It has applied more pressure to tenants “who have bigger shoulders than us” to have them honour their rental obligations.

The company said it estimates that around 41% of its rental income comes from businesses that have not been forced to close or been recommended to close under government guidelines.

The annual income from these businesses is around £5.6m and would be enough to cover interest obligations to its lenders of around £4.1m and most of its overheads, it said.

It currently has more than £12.5m of free cash and the company said on a worse case scenario it has sufficient liquid resources to continue trading for at least a further 21 months.

The group said it intends to pay its dividend for the year ended 31 December 2019, a further 6p per share.

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