Scentre (ASX:SCG) share price struggles as trading update fails to excite investors

How is Scentre performing in 2021?

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a man and a woman hold hands wearing masks as they carry shopping bags and stroll through a retail shopping centre.

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The Scentre Group (ASX: SCG) share price is hovering in negative territory despite a positive trading update from the company.

At the time of writing, the shopping centre-focused property company’s shares are travelling 0.32% lower to $3.16 apiece.

Scentre rebounds from COVID-19

In a statement to the ASX, Scentre announced its centres are continuing to perform consistently year-to-date.

For the 10-month period ending 31 October, the group collected $1.8 billion in gross rent from its customers. This is an increase of $187 million over the prior corresponding period including the extensive lockdowns experienced.

Up until the end of September, 2,010 lease deals were signed, bringing in 868 new merchants and 191 new brands. The group achieved steady portfolio occupancy rates at 98.5%, highlighting resilience across its platform.

When government-mandated restrictions were lifted this year, each of the Australian states recorded a strong rebound in customer visits. Particularly, New South Wales and Victoria witnessed an uptick during late October following successful COVID-19 vaccination programs.

Scentre Group CEO Peter Allen commented:

All Westfield Living Centres have remained open during the period, operating with COVID Safe protocols. Our QLD, WA and SA centres continued to trade well during this quarter, consistent with the first half of the year.

Customers are again rapidly returning to our Westfield Living Centres in NSW, VIC and ACT now that restrictions have eased. We are also looking forward to welcoming back more businesses and customers to our Auckland centres from tomorrow.

As we move into the new COVID-19 normal, Scentre expects to distribute at least 14 cents per security in 2021. This is the original distribution guidance provided in February of this year.

About the Scentre share price

It has been an outstanding 12 months for Scentre shares, posting a gain of 30% for the period. Yesterday, its shares leapt to a new fresh 52-week high of $3.17 before some slight profit-taking took hold.

Based on today’s price, Scentre commands a market capitalisation of roughly $16.34 billion and has approximately 5.19 billion shares outstanding.

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