Saudi Arabia's Cenomi has more flagship shopping and lifestyle destinations coming through the project pipeline. Two of them should be ready in second-half 2025. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s biggest operator of malls, Cenomi Centers, definitely scored with traffic during 2023 – 124 million visitors passed through their shopping and leisure destinations during the period. That’s a firm 19.1 per cent increase over the year before.

For the Saudi company, this and other key financial targets hit during the year suggest the restructure is gathering steam.

Dividend plan

Starting Q2-2024, Cenomi Centers will pay SR0.375 a share each quarter for one year. It will 'consider and pay additional dividend' depending on the financial situation, future outlook and capex requirements. 

“After a proactive tenant rotation program in 2023, occupancy rates have strongly rebounded as of 31 December 2023 to 92.9 per cent, from 90.3 per cent in September 2023, reflecting strong interest from regional as well as international brands,” said a statement.

More space is also getting added. Its development pipeline ‘remains on schedule’. The U Walk Jeddah had its official inauguration on February 15 and has had ‘significant attention’ from potential tenants with a pre-let rate close to 80 per cent.

Construction of flagship developments - Jawharat Riyadh and Jawharat Jeddah - is on schedule with expected openings in H2-2025. A third shopping destination, Jawharat Al Khobar, is set for a 2027 inauguration. The additional six flagships and lifestyle centers will add 597,000 square metres of GLA.

Net profit for 2023 shot up 48.8 per cent to SR1.5 billion, which includes a SR370 million net fair valuation gains on investment properties.

Cenomi's top-line closes at SR2.25 billion
2023 revenues were higher by 2.1% to SR2.25 billion, brought on by 'strong pricing dynamics' and a 'favorable operating environment'. That led to a 3.8% increase in net rental revenue to SR2.05 billion and a 8.8% y-o-y growth for media sales to SR89 million.

Winning on another front

The Saudi company is simultaneously working towards an ambitious none-core asset sale program. Which is expected to fetch SR2 billion in proceeds for the company.

Last year, Cenomi sold plots in the Al Raed district and Al Ahsa sold for SR644.5 million and SR62.5 million, respectively. And just last month, Sahara Plaza in Riyadh brought in SR200 million, with the ‘remaining SR800 million still to be realized from the program’.

On the 2023 numbers, "We achieved record-breaking footfall, and we increased our revenue, EBITDA and net profits," said Alison Rehill-Erguven, CEO, Cenomi Centers. "Securing a SR5.25 billion financing and refinancing our November 2024 Sukuk maturity in early 2024 further enhances our debt position and liquidity.

"The strong interest from international and local brands highlights the KSA market's potential."

  1. On March 12, Cenomi Centers completed a private placement offering of supplementary Sukuk valued at $100 million. This is part of the existing $500 million Sukuk launched on March 6, 2024, set to mature in 2029.
  2. On March 6, the Saudi entity completed placement of a $500 million international dollar-denominated Sukuk. It has a 5-year tenor and a 9.5% yield. With a total order book exceeding $1.6 billion and 3.2x over-subscription, the transaction was 'met with strong international investor demand from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America'.
  3. Cenomi also secured SR5.25 billion in Shariah-compliant facilities with 'improved terms' from a syndicate of banks. The facilities include a revolving Murabaha facility and two term Murabaha tranches, all linked to sustainability targets.