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Echo Polska bets on Retail Property Market


Echo-Polska Properties, the dual JSE and LuxSE-listed Poland-focused property group, is betting on retail property for best returns.

The company has decided to invest solely in retail properties as opposed to a mix of retail and offices, because of strong potential rental growth for shopping centers in the country.

On the release of the group’s March quarter results last month, CEO Hadley Dean said he was excited about the retail prospects for Poland, which is one of the fastest-growing economies in Eastern Europe.

"There are very strong rental growth opportunities in retail. We like the Polish office market, but Polish retail really stands out for us. We want to dominate the shopping centre market — over 30,000m² — in the country. 

Many of the opportunities going forward will include expanding existing malls, as opposed to building new ones in cities which already have many malls," said Dean.

"We should double in size from where we are now and be a €3bn by 2020," said Dean.

The group achieved a net profit for the March quarter of €23.95m and distributable income of €16m.

EPP owns a portfolio of 11 retail properties, including development land and nine office assets located throughout Poland. The majority of its buildings are less than five years old.