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Centurion's Covid-19 bug intensifies as it allows UK students to terminate their leases early with an expected £5m revenue loss

Amala Balakrishner
Amala Balakrishner • 3 min read
Centurion's Covid-19 bug intensifies as it allows UK students to terminate their leases early with an expected £5m revenue loss
While the spread of the virus among migrant workers has intensified in the past week, the operator says the outbreak has not impacted its financial occupancy so far, the group states
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SINGAPORE (Apr 21): Mainboard-listed housing operator Centurion Corp, the operator of some of the worker dormitories that have turned into Covid-19 hotspots in Singapore, is allowing residents at its purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) properties in the UK to terminate their leases early.


See: Covid-19

The move comes as the UK government has put in place a nation-wide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. Some international students have since responded by returning to their home countries to continue their studies virtually.

It translates into a revenue reduction between £3 million (S$5.3 million) and £5 million for this period, depending on the number of residents taking up the offer, the Centurion noted in a regulatory filing on Monday.

Students returning home can terminate their leases early and would not have to pay rent from May 1. Meanwhile, those who have paid in advance and choose to terminate their remaining leases will receive a refund for the lease period beginning May 1, till the end of the contracted lease term, the group says.

It adds that the option came about after taking into consideration due assessment of the universities’ actions, conditions faced by student-residents, as well as short- and long-term interests of its stakeholders. However, it stresses its properties remain operational in this time, to support students choosing to stay put.


See: Centurion catches the Covid-19 bug

Back home, the group has been in the limelight since the outbreak of Covid-19 infections, particularly in its Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory.

The dormitory had been gazetted as an isolation site on April 6, after it became a cluster. Since then, the dormitory has had 146 confirmed cases as at 12pm on Monday. Meanwhile, Westlite Mandai and Westlite Woodlands – another two dormitories in the group’s portfolio had 74 and 18 cases respectively.

See : Covid-19 within workers' dorms to crimp construction sector

While the spread of the virus among migrant workers has intensified in the past week, the operator says the outbreak has not impacted its financial occupancy so far, the group states in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

Collectively, the group’s five workers’ dormitories in Singapore house 28,000 beds. The group says it has invested in more resources such as security systems and thermal scanners. It has also increased cleaning and hygiene management across all five of its workers’ dormitories in its portfolio.

Similar arrangements have been made in its seven workers’ dormitories in Malaysia which together have 30,700 beds.

“We remain confident in the fundamentals of our business, the strength of our reputation and the resilience of our strategic asset classes, and will continue to strengthen our operations and management capabilities during this time,” notes CEO Kong Chee Min.

As at 12pm, shares at Centurion Corp were down 3.85% or 1.5 cents to trade at 38 cents.

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