Citycon withdraws 2020 earnings guidance due to coronavirus

Nordic listed retail specialist Citycon said on Thursday that it is withdrawing its earnings and profit guidance for 2020 due to uncertain market conditions as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

Citycon, which earlier this year had revealed an EPRA earnings per share of €0.815-0.915 and a direct operating profit of €191-209 mln for 2020, said that prospects for the year have weakened and it is no longer able to provide an earnings or profit guidance for the moment.

‘Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, the authority restrictions confirmed in our operating countries has substantially changed our business environment and the prospects for 2020 now look weaker than originally envisaged. It is likely that some new additional authority restrictions or recommendations will still enter into force. This is impacting our ability to collect rents on time or in full,’ said CEO F. Scott Ball.

Furthermore, after the sharp decline in the oil price and the Covid-19 virus outbreak, especially NOK but also SEK currency rates have weakened significantly. ‘This decreases Citycon’s earnings when translated to our reporting currency euro. Given the current lack of visibility over the likely duration and the impact of the epidemic, it is not currently possible to define in a reliable manner the total effect of the epidemic on Citycon’s financials,’ he added.

Against this backdrop, the company also assured investors it has ‘a solid balance sheet and committed revolving credit facilities as well as cash in hand to secure its liquidity’.