Showing great resilience against the effects of the global recession, shopping malls in Turkey keep on growing. In total, Turkey’s malls achieved 12.6 billion Turkish Liras in revenues in the first half of this year, according to a recent report by the Turkish Shopping Center Investors Association, or AYD.
The AYD upgraded its forecast in light of the first half figures, as it now expects 25 billion liras in 2010 revenues.
Shopping malls in Anatolia raised their share in overall revenues, according to the AYD index released on Wednesday in Istanbul. Considering revenues by square meters in each shopping mall, Istanbul malls showed a better performance than Anatolian malls.
In the first half of the year, Anatolian malls accounted for 6.5 billion liras of total revenues, while Istanbul malls accounted for 6.1 billion liras. Annual revenues overall are expected to reach 25 billion liras, representing an increase of 4 billion liras compared to 2009.
Hakan Kodal, the AYD chairman, said, “We expect $1.5 billion in investment next year, with around 30 new shopping centers built around the country.”
The number of shopping center visitors keeps growing each year, according to AYD. “Only in the last six months, 270 million people visited shopping centers in cities in Anatolia and 225 million in Istanbul,” Kodal said. “We expect around 1.1 billion in visitor numbers this year as a whole. We have already seen 500 million visits in the first half.”
A year of recovery
2010 will be a year of recovery for shopping malls, according to Kodal. “The sector has already reached 6 billion square meters and 12.6 billion liras in total revenue, only in the first half,” he said.
Through the end of the year, 10 major shopping centers will be added to existing ones, increasing the total leasable area by 300,000 square meters to a massive 6 billion square meters. In total there are 256 shopping malls in 45 cities across Turkey.
Talking to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Anthony Khoi, the President of Aerium Funds Turkey, emphasized the growing potential of the sector. “Turkey attained a great level in just 10 years, a level which was achieved in Europe only after 40 years,” Khoi said.
“We are the first foreign company that came to Turkey to invest in this sector, and now we are doing very well,” he added. “In my opinion, Turkey is the China of Europe, with great investment opportunities.”
Aerium Funds is exiting some markets in Europe, Khoi noted, adding that during the crisis period, the firm invested only in one country and that was Turkey. “Turkey has proved its stability and predictability, and not just for short-term investments but also long-term ones,” he said.
“During the crisis, we invested around $100 million in Turkey to expand our shopping centers and it worked very well,” he told the Daily News. “We also received additional funding of nearly $240 million from Akbank to invest even more in the upcoming years. This shows us we are not considered a foreign company anymore, but a local one, employing Turks and contributing to the growth of the country.”