French distribution giant Auchan's real estate branch, Immochan, will invest 1.7 billion euro over the next two years to construct new, and expand existing, shopping centres.
Target: 2.9 million sqm by 2017
Immochan announced its ambitious plans at the MAPIC event in Cannes, the meeting place for retail real estate specialists. Some 70 projects have been outlined, including the construction of new shopping centres which are "better suited towards contemporary consumer needs".
It not only seeks French expansion, where it already has more than 100 shopping centres comprising 1.8 million sqm, as it mainly wants Eastern European and Asian growth. Its ambitious goal is to reach 2.9 million sqm of retail space at the start of 2017.
"Dynamic asset management"
Currently, Immochan owns some 360 shopping centres in 12 countries, totaling 2.2 million sqm. On a yearly basis, its shopping centres attract 1.7 billion visitors and generate a 639 million euro turnover. The first half of 2014 yielded a 318 million euro turnover, a 1.7 % increase compared to the same period the year before.
However, these revenue streams are not sufficient enough to realize its lofty ambitions and that is why it has been "dynamically managing its assets". Immochan had already sold 12 French, 1 Luxembourg and 15 Italian shopping centres last year. This year it continued on the same path, confirming the sale of 13,000 sqm of retail space in Grand-Cap (Le Havre, in France) to Amundi Immobilier.