CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMICREAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS & FUNDS

GPT shaken by lockdowns, pulls profit guidance

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GPT Group has withdrawn its funds from operations amid an extended lockdown period in the major Sydney market and ongoing uncertainty in Melbourne.

The company’s full year period runs in line with the calendar year. It is releasing its interim results next month.

GPT’s chief executive officer, Bob Johnston, said that in line with strengthening economic conditions, the group has seen a “strong recovery” across its retail portfolio during the course of the first six months of this year.

“However, given the recent restrictions in both Sydney and Melbourne and the uncertainty as to when these restrictions will be lifted and the ongoing risk of additional measures, we believe it is prudent to withdraw FFO and distribution guidance for the full year.”

CommSec’s quarterly State of the States found NSW trailed most states on economic growth, spending and housing construction in the March quarter – even ahead of its current lockdown – and expectations are growing that Sydney’s economy is headed back into recession.

While joint federal and state economic support has been announced, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrotet has called on the federal government to bring back the JobKeeper package.

The return to the office had been lumpy throughout the year. Melbourne lagged the other capitals following its second 2020 lockdown, and further lockdowns in February and June this year, while Sydney had taken until mid-year to catch up with the bulk of other cities.

NAB’s Health Wellbeing Insight Report on working from home found that even with worries about loneliness, loss of social interactions and the risk of losing a work-life balance, many workers still found working from home benefits outweighed the risks.

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