CBL & Associates officials said sales were strong in the first quarter, and top officials will be getting bonuses.
They include $953,000 for CEO Stephen Lebovitz, $414,000 for board executive Charles Lebovitz, $313,000 each for president Michael Lebovitz and chief financial officer Farzana Khaleel and $201,000 for chief legal officer Jeffery Curry.
The bonuses were approved by the Chattanooga-based mall company's board compensation committee.
Stephen Lebovitz said, “The strong rebound in the economy is benefiting our properties, with first quarter sales across the CBL portfolio gaining significantly over sales for the first quarter 2019.
Customer traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels and spending levels were certainly helped by stimulus checks and tax refunds. Leasing activity is picking up as sales and traffic levels improve. Rent collections have increased to 89 percent of gross rents and accounts receivable are decreasing as well.
“We will celebrate two major non-retail openings in our portfolio this quarter with the HCA medical office building opening at Pearland Town Center in Houston and a 135-room Aloft hotel opening at Hamilton Place in Chattanooga. Similarly, we have a deep opportunity set across our portfolio to create value and density at our existing centers by redeveloping former anchor buildings and utilizing parking lots and unimproved land. This quarter we will start construction on the redevelopment of a former department store parcel at Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck, ND where we will add restaurants and service uses on pads, driving additional traffic and creating value to our portfolio.
“We are also making major progress on our in-court restructuring, filing the Amended Plan and related disclosure statement in mid-April. Through this plan, we will not only provide our company with a more flexible balance sheet and improved cash flow, but importantly it offers all stakeholders, including both common and preferred shareholders, a favorable recovery. The court process has not slowed down the rebound in our business, and we are working diligently towards our planned emergence later this year. We are excited for the fresh start this will mark and for CBL’s bright future.”
Despite the sales increases, the net loss attributable to common shareholders for the three months ended March 31 was $26.8 million, or a loss of $0.14 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $133.9 million, or a loss of $0.75 per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, 2020.
Officials said, "Net loss for the first quarter 2021 was impacted by the deconsolidation of Park Plaza and Asheville Mall, which resulted in a $55.1 million gain on deconsolidation. Net loss for the first quarter 2021 was also impacted by an aggregate $22.9 million in reorganization items and a $57.2 million loss on impairment of real estate to write down the carrying value of Old Hickory Mall, Stroud Mall and Eastland Mall to their estimated fair values. This compares to a $133.6 million loss on impairment of real estate included in net loss for the first quarter 2020."