SINGAPORE (May 12): The prolonged Covid-19 pandemic has affected businesses and communities globally, according to property giant City Developments in its operational update released on Tuesday.

The pandemic has impacted especially CDL’s global hospitality portfolio, following lockdowns imposed by governments around the world.

Global room occupancies in its portfolio of hotels fell 17.9% to 52.1%, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) fell 27% y-o-y to $90.6. As at March 31, around a third of its 152 hotels were temporarily closed.

As at March 31, CDL’s Singapore office portfolio, where the majority of its rental income is derived from, remains “resilient” with a committed occupancy of 90.9%, slightly above the island-wide occupancy of 89.0%.

However, its retail and F&B businesses were hit hard. Some 80% or 426 of its Singapore retail tenants are closed amid this circuit breaker period. The majority of CDL’s retail tenants will receive more than 2.8 months of gross rental rebates in total; tenants with cashflow issues are able to offset their rent using part of their security deposit as well.

Overseas, rental rebates were provided to tenants at China’s HLCC mall in Suzhou, Thailand’s Jungceylon mall in Phuket, and Mille Malle in Bangkok.

In the UK, the government has mandated no eviction of tenants during this period. Any rental deferments and repayment plans need to be negotiated and agreed upon between landlords and tenants.

On the property development side, CDL sold 185 units mainly from its mass and mid-market projects such as Piermont Grand and The Tapestry in 1Q2020. Total sales value of $278.1 million was recorded.

In contrast, during 1Q2019, CDL moved 173 units with a total sales value of $516.3 million, mainly from luxury projects such as Boulevard 88 and South Beach Residences.

Going forward, following the worldwide lockdowns owing to the pandemic, CDL expects its sales volume to decline. 

All six of CDL’s operating sales galleries in Singapore have been closed during the circuit breaker period, and new home sales for the group’s projects in China, the UK, and Australia, have slowed due to the lockdowns by various governments.

As at March 31, CDL’s net gearing ratio stood at 44% with interest cover at 6.2 times. It has cash reserves of $3.3 billion as well as undrawn and committed credit lines of $2.3 billion. 

For the $1.8 billion in loans due for the remainder of 2020, CDL has refinanced 17% and set aside funds for the repayment of 65%, with the balance of 18% scheduled for renewal in Q3 2020.

In addition, CDL has also secured early financing or is at advanced stages of documentation for the $1.7 billion of corporate funding for its Irwell Bank residential development and its Liang Court JV.

As at 9.03am, CDL shares were changing hands at $7.91, down 1.37%