Businesses in Mauritius and abroad weregreatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. What were the challenges faced and the impact of the crisis on Lavastone’s activities?

The impact was first felt on our retail operations at 246 Edith Cavell Court, with some tenants not being able to pay their rent. The downturn in business activity and lack of visibility meant new leases for office space did not materialise as planned. Fortunately, tenants who had planned to move in during the second half of the year maintained their commitment. We also faced some challenges when dealing with Corporate Governance matters, such as attending meetings and getting Board resolutions signed by Directors. Effecting daily banking transactions was also an issue, though we succeeded in overcoming this challenge rather rapidly, once internet banking was set up for all companies.

Another challenge was the need to rely on our security service providers during the lockdown period, while our staff were not permitted to circulate prior to the obtention of Work Access Permits (WAP). Overall, we benefit from a portfolio of properties tenanted by resilient businesses, that continued to pay their rent despite the circumstances. The impact of Covid-19 on our finances was thus not as significant as anticipated.