Key highlights for the three months to 30 September 2017:
? Rental growth of 4.5% on a like-for-like basis, largely due to increases in rent through relettings and new leases.
? Earnings increased 11.0% compared with the same period last year, due to higher rental income, a reduction in property expenses and lower interest expenses. Earnings per depositary receipt increased 8.9%, reflecting the increased number of shares following last year’s stock dividend.
? Retail sales grew 5.5% across the portfolio for the first three months, reflecting more positive Retail sentiment across all our markets (France +8.2%; Italy +4.6%; Sweden +3.8%).
? Progress made in project pipeline to develop and improve our existing portfolio, particularly at Grand A (Amiens) and MoDo (Moisselles). The major refurbishment and extension of Hallarna (formerly known as Eurostop, Halmstad) is now complete.
? Asset rotation programme continues with the completed sales of Mellby (September) and 74 rue de Rivoli (October), generating €100 million. Further centre sales to follow in the coming months and year.
Jeremy Lewis, Eurocommercial’s CEO, said:
“Our strong performance during the 12 months to June has continued with a good start to the first quarter of the new financial year. Rental growth increased 4.5% on a like-for-like basis. Combined with contributions from recently completed projects, such as I Gigli, and lower expenses this has translated to a significant increase in earnings.
“We are seeing the benefit of our investment programme in the improvement of our shopping centres, ensuring they are leaders in their catchments. Perhaps the best recent example of this is the opening of the completely renovated and extended Hallarna centre in Halmstad, Sweden. We bought this property five years ago and, over the past couple of years, have refurbished the existing gallery, and added a 16,000m² extension. The centre reopened in late October fully-let, attracting new Swedish and international brands into Halmstad and making it a key regional shopping destination. We still have a final phase of the project which will be completed in Summer 2018 and will take the gross lettable area for this centre to 44,000m².
“Our asset rotation programme is ongoing, and we have now completed the sales of Mellby and rue de Rivoli, with further property sales to follow over the coming months.
“Our intensive due diligence work continues on the acquisition of Woluwe centre in Brussels, which will add another high-quality asset to our portfolio in the first quarter of 2018, assuming there are no problems. The fundamentals of this major shopping centre are compelling: a wealthy catchment; low retail densities –
meaning limited competition; and a strong national and regional economy. It will be earnings accretive from day one, and we can see considerable scope for extending the centre and improving footfall, turnover and rents.”
Financial & Operational Review
Direct Investment Result
The direct investment result (earnings) for the three-month period to 30 September 2017 increased by 11.0% to €29.8 million compared with €26.8 million for the three months to 30 September 2016, largely due to higher
rental income and lower expenses. The direct investment result per depositary receipt at 30 September 2017 increased by 8.9% to €0.61 from €0.56 at 30 September 2016, allowing for a 1.3% increase in the average number of depositary receipts outstanding at 30 September 2017, compared to 30 September 2016, due to the November 2016 take-up of the stock dividend.
The direct investment result is defined as net property income less net interest expenses and company expenses after taxation. In the view of the Board, this more accurately represents the underlying profitability of the Company than the IFRS “profit after tax”, which includes unrealised capital gains and losses.
Net property income, including joint ventures (on the basis of proportional consolidation), for the three months
to 30 September 2017, increased by 6.9% to €43.4 million compared with €40.6 million for the previous corresponding period, mainly due to higher rents.
Like-for-like (same floor area) rental growth in the Company’s properties for the twelve months to 30 September 2017 was 4.5%. Uplifts on relettings and renewals averaged 22% overall.
No. of relettings and renewals
Average rental uplift on relettings and renewals
Like-for-like rental growth
Overall 294 +22% +4.5%
France 67 +14% +1.7%
Italy 179 +26% +6.6%
Sweden 48 +12% +3.4%
Retail Sales Growth
Like-for-like retail sales growth in Eurocommercial’s shopping centres for one, three and twelve months to 30 September 2017 compared with the previous corresponding periods is set out below.
Turnover has been positive for the first three months across all our markets, but particularly in France where we have seen just under a 13% uplift in retail sales in September alone, with particularly strong contributions from Val Thoiry, Les Atlantes, Chasse Sud and MoDo. We have also seen our Parisian centre increase Retail sales, with tourism levels appearing to return towards normal levels. In Italy, retail sales have improved across nearly all our centres, but particularly at Il Castello, Carosello, Collestrada, Cremona Po and I Gigli. In
Sweden, we have seen turnovers improve by 3.8% in Q1 with strong sales recorded at Bergvik, Ingelsta and 421.
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EuroComm. EUR 34,815 +2ct vol. 2.574