‘Best Dec ever’ for Mall of Africa,  Sandton City and V&A Waterfront Attacq’s Mall of Africa, which anchors the Waterfall City mega-development in Gauteng, showed a 22,8 percent increase in trading density growth for the half year ended 31 December 2022

The Mall of Africa and Sandton City in Joburg, as well as Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, had the best December trade ever last year.

This is according to the respective JSE-listed owners of these trophy centres – Attacq Limited, Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) and Growthpoint Properties.

Following the release of its interim results for the period ended 31 December 2022 on Tuesday, Attacq reported that Mall of Africa – its flagship asset that anchors the Waterfall City development – showed a 22,8 percent increase in trading density growth for the half year.

The period includes the bumper Black Friday sales weekend in November and the December festive season trading peak.

Speaking to Moneyweb following the release of Attacq’s latest results on Tuesday, group CEO Jackie van Niekerk said: “It was the best December at Mall of Africa ever, in terms of trading density and turnover growth.”

She noted that the strong performance of the mall and Waterfall City precinct were the major contributors to Attacq posting “robust and resilient” half-year results.

“It was the first six-month period in a while that shoppers didn’t wear masks, and the strong performance displays the resilience of our portfolio …. Covid seems to be a distant memory, but we had to deal with record levels of load shedding, so it was still a tough period for us to mitigate the impact through increased spending on diesel,” added Van Niekerk.

Attacq’s asset management executive Michael Clampett told Moneyweb that the double-digit trading density growth at Mall of Africa saw the centre posting a record turnover in December 2022 of R765 million.

He said the group’s overall retail portfolio, including the likes of Eikestad Mall in Stellenbosch and Lynnwood Bridge in Pretoria, showed “weighted average trading density growth of 14,7 percent”.

Both L2D’s CEO Amelia Beattie and Growthpoint’s SA CEO Estienne de Klerk also reported the “best December trade ever” at Sandton City and the V&A Waterfront, respectively.

Beattie made the comments following the release of L2D’s full-year results for 2022 in late February, while De Klerk briefly remarked on the V&A Waterfront’s rebound during a recent media tour to the group’s head office in Sandton. (Growthpoint released its latest results on Wednesday morning).

Beattie told Moneyweb at the time that both December and November were record trading months for Sandton City, with double-digit growth.

She said that L2D’s retail portfolio overall had recorded robust turnover growth of 21,9 percent in 2022, compared to FY2021, while the retail portfolio footcount surged 24,9 percent.

Beattie said Sandton City’s December turnover alone was around R1,25 billion, with Black Friday sales also boosting November trade.

“We continue to see a significant shift in consumer behaviour driving activity back into our physical shopping environments,” she noted, but warned that 2023 trade may come under pressure from increased load shedding, SA’s poor GDP growth and higher interest rates.

On the V&A Waterfront, which is jointly owned with the Public Investment Corporation, Growthpoint noted in its half-year results Sens announcement that the property “delivered a stellar performance with 23 percent growth in net property income compared to the comparative period as the V&A fully rebounded from the effects of the pandemic”.– Bloomberg

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