Citycon Oyj assesses that its prospects for 2020 have weakened and withdraws its guidance for 2020 issued on 6 February 2020. At this point, the company does not specify its direct operating profit, EPRA EPS or adjusted EPRA EPS forecast for this year in more detail due to the uncertain market situation.

“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. 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 in the last weeks. This decreases Citycon’s earnings when translated to our reporting currency euro,” says F. Scott Ball, CEO, Citycon, and continues:

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. In this situation, our primary task is to follow the guidelines from local health authorities and to ensure the safety of our staff, tenants and customers. Despite this challenging environment and the current difficulty in estimating the impact on Citycon´s financials, Citycon has a solid balance sheet and committed revolving credit facilities as well as cash in hand to secure its liquidity.

The guidance announced in the financial statements release for 2019 was as follows:

“Outlook (as of 6 February 2020):

Citycon forecasts the 2020 EPRA Earnings per share (basic) to be EUR 0.815-0.915. Furthermore, the Direct operating profit is expected to be in the range of EUR 191-209 million and adjusted EPRA EPS in the range of EUR 0.720-0.820.

On 5 February 2020 disclosed acquisition of portfolio of three shopping centres is included in the estimates. Otherwise, the estimates are based on the existing property portfolio as well as on the prevailing level of inflation, the EUR–SEK and EUR–NOK exchange rates, and current interest rates. Premises taken offline for planned or ongoing (re)development projects reduce net rental income during the year.”