Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) - Managing Director & CEO, Grant Kelley
Managing Director & CEO, Grant Kelley
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  • Retail property giant Vicinity Centres (VCX) has withdrawn its earnings and distribution guidance for the 2020 financial year
  • The move is the latest in a tidal wave of guidance withdrawals, brought on by COVID-19’s economic impacts
  • Like many others, the company has felt the virus’ damaging effect on the retail industry
  • Bucking the market trend, Vicinity Centre’s shares have risen 9.38 per cent to trade for $1.14 each

Retail property giant Vicinity Centres (VCX) has withdrawn its earnings and distribution guidance for 2020’s financial year, citing COVID-19 impacts.

Vicinity is one of countless other companies that have withdrawn their financial guidance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidance came out mid-February, but now no longer reflects the state of the deteriorating retail trading and operating industry. 

With the continuing escalation of the disease, and governments worldwide attempting to prevent it, economies everywhere are struggling.

Vicinity’s Managing Director and CEO, Grant Kelley, said the company recognised the impact that COVID-19 is having in Australia.

“As always, our priority remains the safety, health, and wellbeing of our employees, customers, retailers, and the broader community,” Grant responded.

“We are following the recommendations of Federal and State health authorities to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to work with our retailers during this period of adjustment,” he reassured.

According to Grant, Vicinity still has a solid balance sheet, and is currently operating well within its covenants. The company has $1.3 billion of undrawn facilities to fall back on, and the flexibility to defer capital expenditure on major projects until COVID-19 subsides.

However, the Vicinity CEO also revealed that given the uncertain and volatile market conditions, Vicinity has suspended its securities buy-back program.

“Our shopping centres continue to play an essential role for our communities, especially during this time of concern. Shopping centres have been defined as providing ‘essential services to the community’ by the Federal Government. As such, we will continue to be open for our customers, retailers, and the broader community,” Grant concluded.

Bucking the market trend, Vicinity Centre’s shares have risen 9.38 per cent to trade for $1.14 each at 11:31 am AEDT.

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