4 June 2024 9:30

A first quarter with a solid operating performance

Leveraging on good operating performances, in the first quarter of 2024 IGD recorded a 6.6% increase in core business EBITDA with the freehold operating margin exceeding 77%: not far from the historic highs of around 80%.

Financial charges amounted to €18.5 million, absorbing a significant portion of the operating income with EBIT coming in at €22.8 million.  Even though the net financial debt was stable with respect to year-end, the cost of debt increased due to the most recent loans obtained in a high interest-rate environment.

As there are no significant refinancing needs in the short-term, IGD will work to extract the full potential from its operations which have already proven to be in good health.  At the same time, management will continue to reduce debt, optimizing costs and extending maturities.


In the first quarter of 2024 the operating performances continued to improve: this testifies to the resilience of IGD’s typical shopping center format, as well as the validity of the commercial and asset management policies implemented, including in this post-pandemic phase.

Looking at the Italian malls, the 2.6% increase in footfalls was accompanied by 2.1% rise in retailers’ sales compared to the same period of 2023.  Sales also benefitted from purchases made for the Easter holiday which this year was in March, versus April in the prior year.  Sales for the food anchors were also 1.4% higher in the quarter.

All merchandise categories, with the exception of electronics, reported higher sales. Personal care and wellbeing and homecare were particularly dynamic, rising +12.6% and +9.8%, respectively. Clothing retailers, which account for 49.1% of IGD’s total revenues, also posted growth (+1.1%). Today in the electronics sector, which benefitted from high demand during the pandemic, retailers are re-sizing in order to dedicate more space to warehouses for Click&Collect services.

At the end of March 2024 occupancy stood at 95.3%, largely in line with year-end 2023.

While high – thanks also to the continuous work done on marketing to keep the malls’ merchandise mix attractive – in the coming months IGD will work to achieve even higher occupancy rates in order to further increase core business margins.

At 2 May 2024, rent collection stood at 91.5%: in line with period seasonality.

In the first quarter of 2024 leases representing approximately 3% of the total rental income in Italy were re-contracted, with a downside of 3.7%: a result viewed as satisfactory if we consider these rents were adjusted for inflation when inflation was at its highest with peaks of around 11%.

While the exit of a tenant from a 600 square meter space in Romania caused occupancy to drop 70 basis points, overall occupancy was good (95.5%). In the reporting period 118 leases were signed, including renewals and turnover, with an average upside of +6.5% on rents. At the beginning of May rent collection stood at around 90%.

In the wake of the improved operating results, IGD closed the first quarter with a consolidated core business EBITDA of €28.6 million, an improvement of 6.6% compared to the first three months of 2023. The core business EBITDA Margin for freehold assets, therefore, reached 77.3%, an increase of 180 basis points compared to the same period of 2023.

IGD, therefore, recovered margins which are not far from the high of 80% recorded in the past.

The €1.8 million increase in EBITDA is mainly attributable to higher net rental income which rose €2 million or 7.1% to €31.1 million driven by indexed leases and new marketed spaces.

While operations continue to post improvement, IGD’s financial management was impacted by the high average cost of debt which reached 6.04% in the quarter, versus 3.86% in 2023, as a result of the loans obtained in the latter part of last year: financial charges were €9.3 million higher, going from €9.2 million in the first quarter of 2023 to €18.5 million.

In the first three months of 2024, therefore, IGD’s FFO was €5.5 million lower than in the same period of 2023, coming in at €10.3 million, which reflects the €1.7 million rise in adjusted core business EBITDA and the €7.2 million increase in adjusted financial charges.

The net financial position amounted to €967.3 million at 31 March 2024, basically in line with the €968.4 million recorded at year-end 2023. The loan-to-value was also largely unchanged with respect to year-end, coming in at 48.0%.

Thanks to the disposal of the portfolio comprising 13 assets finalized at the end of April, the LTV pro-forma was significantly lower at 44.4%.

The proceeds from the disposal will be used entirely to repay the last bond issued (for €90 million) and the green loans obtained recently (€62.5 million of the secured loan and €0.71 million of the unsecured one).

The residual financial position does not have any significant maturities for the next three years: IGD’s priority, consistent with the path already undertaken with great determination, will therefore be to reduce the amount of debt, lower costs, extending and diversifying maturities over time.