Westfield mall owner, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), is expecting a boost in earnings for 2024 thanks to the upcoming Paris Olympics and Paralympics. URW’s Viparis convention centers, operated in partnership with the Paris Ile-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will host various events during the Games. Notably, Paris Expo Porte de Versailles will serve as the venue for sports such as handball, table tennis, volleyball, and weightlifting, while the Palais des Congrès de Paris will house the International Olympic Committee and the main press center.

URW projects an increase in adjusted recurring earnings per share for 2024, with estimates ranging between 9.65 and 9.8 euros ($10.56). This represents growth from the 9.62 euros recorded in 2023. The anticipated rise in footfall during the Olympics partly contributes to this positive outlook. Fabrice Mouchel, URW’s Chief Financial Officer, believes that the Games will bolster the convention and exhibition performance in 2024, as the summer period is typically quieter in terms of events.

The Paris Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11, coinciding with a period when many Parisians typically leave the city for their summer holidays. The Paralympics will commence from August 28 to September 8. URW’s announcement of a dividend payment is noteworthy, especially after the company observed a drop in vacancy rates in its shopping centers, which returned to pre-pandemic levels at 5.4% in 2023. Furthermore, the group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) have rebounded, reaching 2.199 billion euros, equivalent to 2019 levels.

Following the news of a dividend payout of 2.50 euros per share for 2024, URW witnessed its shares rise by over 5%. This marks the company’s first dividend since 2020. As part of its growth strategy, URW aims to expand its advertising business by offering brands the opportunity to showcase their products on screens and in pop-up spaces within its shopping centers. In 2023, the company’s retail media revenues amounted to 121.3 million euros, reflecting a 15% increase on a like-for-like basis. Additionally, URW predicts that its in-house retail media agency for Europe, Westfield Rise, will generate a net margin of 75 million euros in 2024, up from 53.3 million euros in 2023.

Useful links:
1. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Official Website
2. Paris 2024 Official Website