The gross sales turnover of a total of 1,800 shops located on the 30 SES Spar European Shopping Center sites in Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Hungary, Croatia and the Czech Republic continued to grow in the past year. With sales up 18.5% and a €3.1 billion turnover compared to 2021, SES enjoyed a record year in terms of development since its inception in 2007. In 2022, SES invested in numerous sustainable measures such as the large-scale installation of photovoltaic systems and the ongoing interim expansion of e-charging stations, currently amounting to 175 charging points coupled with extensive LED retrofitting.
SES manages a total of 30 major shopping destinations in six countries including 27 shopping malls, two retail parks and one managed shopping street covering 830,000 square meters of leased space in the Austrian, Slovenian, Croatian, Northern Italian, Hungarian and Czech markets.
With footfall up to the summer still averaging 20% below the previous year’s figures, SES documented particularly positive trends in terms of footfall and turnover in all malls in six countries from September onwards.
Marcus Wild, SPAR Real Estate Board Member and SES Board Chairman said: “2022 proved to be a challenging year from an economic perspective with Covid, a war plus an energy crisis, and yet, brick-and-mortar retail in SES shopping centres came out on top.”
Christoph Andexlinger, CEO of SES Spar European Shopping Centers added: “We attribute the above-average development of our malls to two factors. Alongside our retail partners, we focused once again on our customers in 2022. In addition to the shopper experience, we wanted to highlight what our shopping venues could offer in terms of services. We are also investing in on-site construction, focusing primarily on measures that significantly promote sustainability, especially energy efficiency, both of which are particularly relevant to our visitors.”
SES in Slovenia: Alongside Austria, SES is also the market leader for large-scale shopping centres in Slovenia. The country’s five SES malls recorded sales of over €660 million in 2022, culminating in a 20% increase in turnover compared to 2021. Over 23 million people visited Slovenia’s SES malls.
SES in Hungary: With its two Hungarian sites, namely S-PARK, which opened in 2021 as a modern retail park in the district town of Kaposvár, and the KORZÓ shopping centre close to the Ukrainian border, SES generated a 30% increase in sales last year compared to 2021 figures. Both sites have an overall footfall of approximately 4 million visitors each year.
SES in Italy, Croatia, and the Czech Republic: The sales turnover of the three SES shopping malls in Northern Italy witnessed a growth of 8.9% last year. KING CROSS Zagreb in Croatia and EUROPARK Prague in the Czech Republic also boosted sales by +4.3% and +6.4%, respectively, compared to 2021.
€35 million earmarked for maintenance, modernization and sustainability
SES is also keeping its centres fit for future purposes in terms of energy. In 2022, it invested over €35 million in maintenance, conversions and energy-reducing measures. Extensive LED retrofitting continued in the malls, on facades, in underground garages and in parking lots including MURPARK Graz, VARENA Vöcklabruck, ZIMBAPARK Bludenz-Bürs, EUROPARK Salzburg and SILLPARK Innsbruck. In concrete terms, this amounts to electricity savings of over 1.45 million kWh per year, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of almost 600 single-family homes.
Climate strategy: Rapid expansion of photovoltaic panel installation
Two further centres managed by SES installed photovoltaic panels on their roofs in 2022. Since June 2022, 2,000 square meters of photovoltaic panels at MARIANDL Krems have been producing electricity covering around 20% of the centre’s own energy requirements. The large-scale system covering 3,900 square meters at CITYPARK Graz has also been up and running since November and covers around 25% of the annual energy requirement. To date, a total of four centres under SES management are operating their own photovoltaic systems.
Another ten PV systems are to be installed on SES shopping centre roofs in 2023, covering a total area of over 30,000 square meters, including VARENA Vöcklabruck, ATRIO Villach and MAX.CENTER in Austria. PV panels are currently being installed on all five malls in Slovenia. The LE BRENTELLE Centre Padua/Italy will also use its own solar power from April with the IPERCITY centre already scheduled for installation in 2023. The total area covered by the ten additional systems is equivalent to the size of more than four football pitches.
SES also uses alternative energy sources on its other sites. SILLPARK Innsbruck operates its own hydraulic power station. Since 1990, it has been producing more than four million kWh of electricity annually, thus covering over 50% of the mall’s own needs.
Energy management system extended to Slovenia and Italy
Since 2019, SES has been operating an energy management system in Austria in accordance with ISO 50001:2018, which was successfully recertified by TÜV AUSTRIA (testing, inspection, and certification company) in 2022. At the same time, SES was able to roll out the energy management system to all SES shopping venues in Slovenia and Italy and obtain TÜV AUSTRIA certification for the malls in these countries.
Modern e-mobility for all centres and 100% green electricity
As the SPAR Group’s real estate specialist, SES devised a strategy for the charging infrastructure at SPAR, EUROSPAR, INTERSPAR and MAXIMARKT locations in 2022. The strategy will be successively rolled out to all countries within the group. SES per se has been operating e-charging stations at all its venues since 2011. It converted its e-filling station network to a payment system in 2022. Additional charging points will be installed in 2023.
Preparing to apply taxonomy criteria in 2025
As a developer, builder and operator of retail properties, SES has been committed to making an even greater contribution to climate protection through sustainable property development for many years. SES in conjunction with its partner companies is therefore taking sound steps in readiness for the application of taxonomy criteria to the planning, construction, and operational sectors. These strategies range from further CO2 reduction to the circular economy. According to the EU Taxonomy Regulation, which came into force in June 2020, all economic activities must be assessed for their environmental sustainability performance in future.
Investing €110 million in the future
Approximately €110 million have also been earmarked for maintenance, sustainability, project developments and mall refurbishments in Austria and abroad during 2023. The focus is on local supply, the quality of meeting points and the ongoing development of existing centres to make them multi-purpose venues. The operator also has further expansion plans for new, high-quality retail park projects in Slovenia and Croatia.
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