Mall and retail conglomerate Swire Properties Limited announced on March 9 revenues for the full-year 2022 fell 16 percent to HKD 13.8 billion, on the back of slumps in the company’s China and Hong Kong retail units during the year.
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The Hong Kong-based Swire Properties said the retail market in Hong Kong experienced “severe disruption” in early 2022, due to Covid-19-related social distancing measures and mandatory closures.
However, the retail real estate company saw “a gradual recovery” in footfall and tenants’ sales from the second quarter onwards, following the slow lessening of restrictions and the introduction of the HKSAR Government’s consumption voucher scheme.
Rental concessions were also given to tenants for specific periods on a case-by-case basis, which helped retain tenancies, and its malls remained almost fully let throughout the year, the company added.
Over the border, retail sales in the Chinese Mainland started strongly in 2022, with a full year contribution from the new Taikoo Li Sanlitun West and Taikoo Li Qiantan developments. From the second quarter, Swire Properties’ six shopping malls were affected “to varying degrees by the pandemic” and ensuing city-wide closures, particularly in Shanghai and Beijing.
“In 2022, we continued to face operational challenges due to the pandemic, in particular during the first half of the year. However, our financial strength and our commitment to operational excellence ensured that we delivered a good performance across our business,” said Guy Bradley, chairman of Swire Properties.
“The full reopening of the border with the Chinese Mainland and the relaxation of pandemic control measures is a welcome development. Hong Kong is our home, and we are determined to contribute to Hong Kong’s Page 3 recovery, and to further reinforce the city’s unique position as a global financial centre and a super-connector to the Greater Bay Area.”
Following its announcement of a HKD 100 billion investment plan, Swire Properties said 39 percent of pledged funds are now committed to new and ongoing investments in Hong Kong and across its core markets in the Chinese Mainland and Southeast Asia.
Under the plan, HKD 30 billion has been allocated to the portfolios in Hong Kong to further expand Taikoo Place and Pacific Place. The Company has also earmarked HKD 50 billion to double its gross floor area in the Chinese Mainland over the next decade, under its recognised Taikoo Li and Taikoo Hui brands.
Finally, Swire Properties announced several new projects in the Chinese Mainland in 2022, including a partnership in March with Xi’an Cheng Huan Cultural Investment and Development Co., Ltd to develop Taikoo Li Xi’an, and another retail development project in Sanya was announced in October, which is the company’s first project situated in a tropical locale within the region.