More ev­i­dence that our switch to prop­erty is help­ing to main­tain our in­come

Two of our real es­tate hold­ings have pos­i­tive news for in­vestors de­spite the eco­nomic dam­age caused by the coro­n­avirus epi­demic

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - RICHARD EVANS

OUR port­fo­lio is now heav­ily ex­posed to prop­erty in one way or an­other, as cer­tain types of real es­tate of­fer in­come cer­tainty when few other as­sets do, and two of our prop­erty hold­ings have an­nounced up­dates re­cently.

The first is Sirius Real

Es­tate, which owns com­mer­cial prop­erty in Ger­many. On Wed­nes­day it said the col­lec­tion of rent and ser­vice charges in June had been at 99.8pc of nor­mal lev­els.

Sirius said: “The con­sis­tency of cash col­lec­tion is re­flec­tive of the com­pany’s breadth of ten­ant base, abil­ity of its staff to en­gage with and man­age its ten­ants and the de­ci­sive man­ner in which the com­pany has been man­ag­ing through­out the cri­sis, as well as the ef­fi­ciency with which the Ger­man gov­ern­ment has acted

to sup­port busi­nesses.”

It added that a “small num­ber” of ten­ants that faced fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties re­lated to Covid-19 had re­quested de­fer­ral of rental and ser­vice charge pay­ments. “These are be­ing ad­dressed on a case-by­case ba­sis and have had very lim­ited im­pact on cash flow at this point,” Sirius said.

It had good news too about in­quiries from po­ten­tial new ten­ants. “Fol­low­ing a pre­vi­ously re­ported brief re­duc­tion … in­quiry lev­els have re­turned to nor­mal lev­els of above 1,200 per month in April, May and June 2020,” it said. “The de­mand for space re­mains good, with an in­crease in the de­mand for stor­age.” Sirius’s con­fer­enc­ing ac­tiv­ity has also re­sumed “suc­cess­fully”.

An­drew Coombs, the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “While the last few months have been a hugely chal­leng­ing time for peo­ple both per­son­ally and eco­nom­i­cally, we have

weath­ered the first phase of this cri­sis with rel­a­tive suc­cess.”

Hold.

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