Results as at 30 September 2019
- FFO: €9 million (+5.6%);
- Rental income: €0 million, +2.7% (LFL Italy flat, Romania +2.7%)
- Net rental income: €2 million, +10.7% (+2.5% adj. ex IFRS16)
- Average cost of debt 2.4%; Loan to Value 47.8%
Today the Board of Directors of IGD – Immobiliare Grande Distribuzione SIIQ S.p.A. (“IGD” or the “Company”), one of the main players in Italy’s retail real estate market and listed on the STAR segment of the Italian Stock Exchange, examined and approved the interim financial report at 30 September 2019 during a meeting chaired by Elio Gasperoni.
Retailers’ 2019 sales in the Group’s Italian malls showed further improvement in the third quarter of the year (+0.4%), in line with the trend begun in the second quarter; the figure was consistent with the same period of the prior year, while footfalls were down (-2.3%) and the average ticket was up. This performance reflects a particularly difficult first quarter, linked to unfavorable weather conditions which weren’t in line with seasonal averages (above all in February and in May). The operating performance of the malls was also affected by the work being done in a number of shopping centers, particularly those where remodeling and restyling work are underway.
In terms of merchandise, growth was recorded by Electronics, Services and Restaurants/Food; clothing also recovered in the third quarter.
During the year 180 leases (103 renewals and 77 new leases) were signed with an average upside of 1.5%.
Occupancy was maintained at a high level (96.4%), which was basically in line with the prior period.
In Romania, the economy continues to perform brilliantly with GDP and consumption on the rise; these factors, along with careful and effective asset management, had a positive impact on the operating performance recorded in the first nine months: the occupancy rate (97.5%) was confirmed at a high, growing level and the average upside on renewals (152 leases) reached +3.3%.
FINANCIAL – ECONOMIC RESULTS (FFO +5.6%)
Rental income rose 2.7% to €116.0 million explained by:
- for around €3 million, higher revenue not like-for-like;
- for around €0.2 million, higher revenue like-for-like in Romania (+2.7%);
- for around -€0.1 million, revenue like-for-like in Italy which was basically flat (-0.1%). Malls were down (-0.4% due mainly to the vacancies created in a few midsize retail areas which the company is currently re-marketing and an increase in temporary discounts), while hypermarkets were higher than in the prior year (+0.5%).
Net rental income amounted to €102.2 million, an increase of 10.7% (+ 2.5% adj. ex IFRS16) against the same period of the prior year.
Net revenue from services came to €0.8 million, unchanged with respect to the prior year.
Core business Ebitda amounted to €94.4 million (€86.7 million adj. ex IFRS16), an increase of 11.0% (+ 2.0% adj. ex IFRS16) compared to 30 September 2018. The core business Ebitda Margin amounted to 78.1%, while the core business freehold Ebitda margin (relative to freehold properties) reached 80.0%.
Financial expense adj. ex IFRS16 at 30 September 2019 fell (-4.1%) to €23.3 million, despite the higher average net financial position recorded in the period. The downward trend in the average cost of debt, therefore, continued, coming in at 2.4% (vs 2.67% in September 2018).
The Group’s portion of net profit amounted to €22.4 million in the reporting period, lower than in the same period 2018, due mainly to the change in writedowns and fair value adjustments.
Funds from Operations (FFO) rose 5.6% compared to 30 September 2018 to €62.9 million.
ASSET MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT PIPELINE
Restyling at the Casilino di Roma Shopping Center was completed and the restyled center was inaugurated on the 25-26 October weekend during which a 11.4% increase in footfalls was recorded.
Work was also basically finished at the Fonti del Corallo Shopping Center in Livorno.
Both projects called for the restyling of the centers’ interior and exterior. In the case of Fonti del Corallo the pre-letting of the new spaces created by downsizing the hypermarket is being completed, including by introducing personal services which will increase the shopping centers’ appeal for both returning and new visitors.
Consistent with the Business Plan 2019-2021, work continued on the remodeling of a few hypermarkets, specifically the Le Maioliche, Conè and Porto Grande shopping centers. At Maioliche and Conè work is being done on reducing the size of the hypermarket and creating new spaces inside the malls. In both cases the work is expected to be completed by February 2020. At Porto Grande, in addition to downsizing the hypermarket, a complete restyling of the center, along with further earthquake proofing, will be carried out; the work is expected to be completed by September 2020.
With regard to the Porta a Mare project, work on the Piazza Mazzini section is basically finished: on 30 September definitive sales agreements were signed for the sale by IGD of Palazzo Orlando (an office building included in this section) and, at the same time, the purchase of 50% of the Darsena City Shopping Mall in Ferrara. As for the Officine Storiche section, work continued and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Leasing of the retail spaces continued (more than 60% of the space has already been let/pre-let) while, even though the work will not be completed for about another year, 2 preliminary sales agreements for 2 apartments have already been signed.
RETAIL NEWS AND SUSTAINABILITY
The Company continues to change the merchandise mix at its shopping centers in order to better meet visitors’ needs and demands by adding new brands, services and entertainment areas. Toward this end, on 19 September the Cinema Notorius Experience, which covers more than 5,500 m2 with 10 IMAX theaters and lounge areas, was inaugurated. The structure was completely renovated, even though it never closed, based on an innovative cinema format which focuses on high audio-video standards, comfort, digitalization and environmental sustainability.
On 14 October a new communication campaign was launched in 7 shopping centers (Centro Sarca, Le Porte di Napoli, Centro D’Abruzzo, Le Maioliche, Tiburtino, Katanè and ESP); the purpose of this campaign is to create a new image positioning for these 7 shopping centers.
The main pay-off of the communication campaign, which has a strong focus on emotional engagement, is “I’m possible, the place where everything is possible”: the claim, combined with compelling graphics, gives new strength and meaning to the IGD brand and aims to create a new brand fantasy of a space where individuals can dedicate special time to themselves, family and friends in a shopping center which becomes a veritable “space to be lived in”.
On 22 October the rating agency Fitch Ratings assigned IGD a rating of “BBB-“ with a stable outlook. The rating reflects a stable rental income profile that benefits from high occupancy rates and leverage metrics that have improved over the past four years. The Group, therefore, now has two investment grade ratings (Fitch and S&P)
The Interest Cover Ratio came to 3.8x (3.7x adj. ex IFRS16), in line with 30 June 2019.
The IGD Group’s net financial debt was €1,174.4 million at 30 September 2019, (€1,118.2 million adj. ex IFRS16), down slightly with respect to June 2019 (€1,184.9 million). The loan-to-value came to 47.8% (46.7% adj. ex IFRS16), while the gearing ratio was 0.95x (0.91x adj. ex IFRS16).
The documents will be made available to the public – as well as published on IGD’s website https://www.gruppoigd.it/Governance – at the Company’s registered office, Borsa Italiana S.p.A. and on the authorized storage system www.emarketstorage.com in accordance with the law and applicable regulations.