Bunnings owner plots lockdown course
The listed BWP Trust, which owns Bunnings warehouses around the country, says it is well positioned for the challenges created by the global COVID-19 pandemic, even as its anchor tenant readies for trade restrictions in Melbourne.
The landlord, which has a $2.5bn portfolio of Bunning warehouses and other bulky goods stores, is promoted as one of the safest stocks on the market but it provided a flat outlook as pandemic-related restrictions slow the economy.
Bunnings operated on a largely unrestricted basis during the first phase of the coronavirus crisis but now its stores in Melbourne are open only for trade customers and pick-ups. Under stage four lockdowns, doors will be shut to in-store retail customers.
BWP Trust managing director Michael Wedgwood said that tenants were required to pay rent whether or not they were open and the trust was watching both cash flows and sales.
Melbourne makes up less than 4% of annual rental income and he noted that Bunnings had adapted well during COVID-19 and he expected them to continue to do so.
BWP has already been affected by the crisis and has leases with tenants like gym operators, which were subject to COVID-19 mandatory closures earlier this year, which it is dealing with under the Morrison government’s leasing code.