AFI Cotroceni Head Says Mall Still Far From Reaching Peak Traffic And Revenue Potential

The sales of stores in shopping center AFI Cotroceni in Bucharest, owned by AFI Europe, rose by 9% in the first half to EUR91 million. Calculated in lei, the sales of the mall went up by 14% in the first half, according to the data company officials provided to ZF.

The mall in western Bucharest completed after a EUR300 million investment in the fall of 2009 has Real, Inditex, H&M, C&A and Cinema City among its tenants.

AFI Cotroceni general manager Israel Vizel said that although revenue went up 14% in the first half, the mall is far from having reached its peak traffic and revenue potential.

The increase in sales of the mall was also made possible by the quite significant rebound in consumer spending at the beginning of the year, which National Statistics Institute data showed as having amounted to 4.6% in January-May, after a long decline.

Retailers in the AFI Cotroceni posted cumulated sales of EUR181.8 million last year, while the revenue of the company that owns the mall amounted to EUR25.2 million, mainly derived from renting space in the complex, which covers 76,000 square meters. In other words, almost 14% the retailers’ sales went towards space rental.

If the growth pace remains unchanged, the mall in Cotroceni might reach almost EUR200 million in sales, considering December is usually the best month for shopping.

The first office building of the AFI Business Park next to the AFI Cotroceni will be completed by AFI Europe in the coming weeks and will probably provide it with several hundred customers a day.

AFI Europe has announced two tenants for the building so far, IT companies Microchip and Endava, which will take up more than 5,000 square meters (enough office space for about 500 employees).

The company also started work on its second mall in Romania, AFI Ploiesti (about sixty kilometers north of Bucharest), a EUR40 million investment in a project with a lettable area of 29,000 square meters and a list of future tenants that includes Cora, H&M, Reserved, New Look and Flanco.

AFI Europe owns other plots of land in Romania both in Bucharest and around it and in Arad (west of the country) after having invested more than half a billion euros in Romanian real estate. AFI Europe is controlled by billionaire Lev Leviev, who made a fortune from the diamond business.