Retail Cenomi Centers doubles profit as mall visitors rise By Andy Sambidge August 9, 2023 Cenomi Cenomi Centers doubled its profit for the first half of 2023 to SAR725m, on revenue of SAR1.1bn Net profit grew to SAR725.1m Footfall up 33.5% to 63 million Occupancy rate over 90% Cenomi Centers, the largest owner, operator and developer of shopping malls in Saudi Arabia, more than doubled net profit in the first half of 2023 as bosses predict a record post-pandemic year for footfall. The company reported revenue over SAR1 billion, a 5.5 percent year-on-year increase, while net profit increased 103 percent to SAR725 million for the same period. Footfall went beyond 63 million, up 33.5 percent, the company said in a filing to Saudi Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Store closures help Cenomi Retail return to profit Saudi shoppers encouraged to support local e-commerce Bahrain shopping malls must adapt or risk losing tenants It added that it is confident about achieving record visitors in the full year and surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Cenomi Centers said demand for prime retail space remains strong as it attracted 111 brands during the first six months of 2023 and renewed 717 contracts. Its occupancy rate for the period was over 90 percent. CEO Alison Rehill-Erguven described the first-half results as “excellent”, saying Saudi shoppers continue to increase their spending as the economy grows. “Our development pipeline remains as exciting as ever,” Rehill-Erguven added. The company has started handovers at its U Walk Jeddah mall, which is scheduled to launch in December and will add 61,000 sq m of gross leasable area to the portfolio. It is already 80 percent pre-let. Cenomi Centers’ first-half profit was also supported by the sale of land in Al Raed district in Riyadh, part of their non-core asset sale programme, while advanced talks are taking place to sell Sahara Plaza in Riyadh and land in Qassim. So far they have raised SAR875 million and expect further sales to be worth a total of SAR2 billion. The company said it has decided on a SAR413 million dividend distribution which follows the distribution of SAR475 million in April. In May it was announced that talks were under way for a potential merger between Cenomi Centers and franchiser Cenomi Retail to create a new retail powerhouse. Discussions remain at an early stage and the parties have not yet reached an agreement on whether to proceed with any transaction, a statement said. Both companies announced a full rebrand in December under the newly created Cenomi Group.