KUALA LUMPUR: Sunway Malls foresees stronger sales performance in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022, surging by 117 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.
This will be boosted by better Hari Raya sales, endemic phase transition, improved labour market and stronger domestic and external demand.
The mall group operator, which has seven physical malls and one digital mall under its roof, saw its sales growth come in above expectations at 143 per cent in April and 110 per cent in May.
It expects its performance to sustain at 100 per cent for June.
Sunway Malls & Theme Parks chief executive officer HC Chan said the high sales performance during Hari Raya festival in April provided a significant, leading and comfortable start for Q2.
"In fact, April's 143 per cent sales performance is the highest till date and surpassed even January's 116 per cent during the Chinese New Year period.
"Even if we compare Hari Raya this year to the same period pre-pandemic level, it achieved 121 per cent. Definitely, this is a very strong performance however you measure it," he said in a statement.
He said with the Q2 forecast, Sunway Malls would see three consecutive quarters of sales performance achieving 100 per cent and more.
The improved performance was also attributed by the mall's replacement of outgoing weak and ailing retailers with strong and vibrant retailers with a track record in driving footfall and higher per square feet sales.
The continued strong performance from these retailers is expected to sustain the mall's performance moving forward.
Chan said Sunway malls were expected to return to pre-pandemic level profitability in 2022 given the strong trajectory.
"From our diverse malls portfolio, we forecast a return to 2019's profitability. Depending on location, some malls might even exceed pre-pandemic level profitability," said Chan.
Sunway Malls is also seeing marked improvement in lowering outstanding arrears that stood at RM100 million in September last year.
The mall group forecasts the amount to reduce by 80 per cent by the end of the year.
Sunway Malls also anticipates to maintain the momentum of its shops opening 300 new shops following the expansion of Sunway Carnival and other renewal across its malls.
Sunway Malls welcomed 200 new shops in 2020 and 160 shops in 2021 amid the pandemic.
"When we examine the metrics of profitability, arrears and new shops opening, Sunway Malls is performing well on all fronts and even buckling the industry's trend," Chan said.