Results at 30th September 2022
- Growth in retailers’ sales at Italian malls continues in the third quarter; September 2022 +4.5% vs Sept. 2019; 3Q 2022 +2.8% vs 3Q 2019
- The sales figure for the first nine months is largely in line with 2019, with strong growth compared to the same period of 2021 (+19.1%)
- Rent collection 9M2022: ~ 93% in Italy; ~95% in Romania
- Funds From Operations (FFO): 50.4 euro million, +4.1% vs 30/09/2021 (+19.9% vs 30/09/2021 restated)
- Financial occupancy higher than in 1H 2022: Italy 95.3%, +20bps; Romania 95.1%, +220bps
- Financial structure strengthened: Loan-to-Value comes to 44.8% at 30 September, down 70 bps against 30/06 (45.5%)
Bologna, 3 November 2022. Today the Board of Directors of IGD – Immobiliare Grande Distribuzione SIIQ S.p.A. (“IGD” or the “Company”) examined and approved the interim financial report as at 30 September 2022 during a meeting chaired by Rossella Saoncella.
Message from the Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Albertini
“We are satisfied with the operating performance recorded in the last quarter: despite a challenging market backdrop, retailers’ sales in our shopping centers were higher than in 2019 for the second quarter in a row and posted significant growth against 2021. These figures demonstrate, once again, that the goods and services offered at the shopping centers are in step with the times and in line with consumers’ expectations and needs. The improvement in occupancy, the excellent level of rent collection and the limited tenant defaults also testify to the solidity of our business model” Claudio Albertini, IGD’s Chief Executive Officer stated “We are, however, aware of the complex scenario that lies ahead in the coming months and for this reason we will continue to be flexible and work synergically with our customers, to manage our properties efficiently, particularly with regard to containing energy costs, and to guarantee the sustainability of our financial-economic results in order to provide our shareholders’ with adequate remuneration.”
In the third quarter of 2022, the positive sales performance of the tenants in IGD’s malls was confirmed and reached pre-pandemic levels. After a difficult first quarter, which closed down -6.4% against the same period of 2019 due to a spike in infection rates, sales improved gradually as the pandemic situation normalized and outperformed both the second (+3.8%) and third (+2.8%) quarters of 2019.
Thanks to the excellent results recorded between April and September, at -0.3% YoY the result for 9M22 was in line with 2019. Conversely, footfalls have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, but showed signs of gradual improvement in the first nine months of the year: in the first quarter of the year footfalls were down by around 20% and in July-September came in at around -15%. This trend, already seen in 2021, attests to a change in consumers’ shopping habits with less frequent, but more targeted, shopping as demonstrated also by the increase in the average ticket (+19.5% September ’22 vs September ’19).
Compared to the first nine months of 2021 the performance was also good, with sales up +19.1% and footfalls +9.7%.
Looking at the different categories of merchandise, the good results already seen in the first half for electronics, culture, leisure and home care were confirmed. There was noticeable recovery, compared to 2019, in clothing which went from the -5.1% recorded in the first half to -2.2% in the first nine months.
The performance of the Group’s freehold hypermarkets and supermarkets was also positive, with an increase in the first nine months of +2.8% compared to the same period of 2021 (hypermarkets and supermarkets were never subject to restrictions in 2021).
Occupancy of the Italian portfolio reached 95.3%, slightly higher compared to both 30 June 2022 (+20 bps) and 31 December 2021 (+10bps); this improvement is explained by the intense work done by IGD on leasing: 128 leases have been signed since the beginning of the year, including renewals (60) and as a result of turnover (68) with an average upside on rents of +1.6%.
Rent collection continued to improve, net of rebates, reaching 93% at 28 October.
As part of the co-marketing project with Coop Alleanza 3.0, which was launched on 22 April, and the growing collaboration with mall retailers, IGD launched a commercial initiative “Raddoppia lo shopping” (“Double the Shopping”), in 12 of its freehold malls based on which shoppers may obtain coupons for double the amount actually spent on shopping through the online portal Area Plus or specific totems found in the malls. The coupons may be used in the mall or the hypermarket by the end of 2022.
In addition to increasing footfalls and sales, the project aims to increase the synergies between tenants and accelerate the creation of the CRM database in accordance with the Digital Plan.
The operating performance was positive in the Winmarkt shopping malls with occupancy reaching 95.1% at 30 September 2022, decidedly better compared to 30 June 2022 (+220bps) and 31 December 2021 (+490bps) and excellent rent collection which reached roughly 95%. Work on leasing also continued in Romania: 273 leases were signed, including renewals (191) and as a result of turnover (82), with an average upside on rents of +2.4%.
In the first nine months of 2022 rental income fell -6.5% to €102.1 million; for the sake of a more accurate comparison, the rental income for 2021 was restated to take into account the sale of the portfolio of hypermarkets at the end of 2021 and, as a result, came to €100.3 million. Compared to the restated 2021 figure, there was an increase of +1.7%, explained by:
- for around €1.8 million, higher revenue like-for-like in Italy (+2.0%). In addition to the new pre-lets and openings, the increase is attributable to ISTAT indexing (€1.8 million), partially offset by higher rebates; revenue for temporary stores, as well as variable revenue, also increased;
- for around €0.3 million, higher revenue like-for-like in Romania (+5.2%);
- for around -€0.3 million, lower revenue not like-for-like.
Net rental income amounted to €83.6 million, 3.8% lower than in the same period of the prior year, but 7.8% higher like-for-like. A +6.3% increase was reported against the restated figure.
Net rental income benefitted from a decrease in the direct costs of Covid-19, compared to 2021, while there was an increase in the Company’s share of condominium fees (also due to higher energy costs) and the costs associated with the co-marketing project.
Core business Ebitda amounted to €76.0 million, a decrease of 4.5% (+6.5% against the restated 2021 figure), with the margin at 70.7%. The freehold core business Ebitda margin (relative to freehold properties) came to 72.5%.
Financial charges amounted to €22.1 million which, net of the accounting impact of IFRS 16 and non-recurring expenses, were 18.1% lower than at 30 September 2021.
Funds from Operations (FFO) reached €50.4 million, 4.1% higher than at 30 September 2021. Restated FFO was +19.9% higher.
SUSTAINABILITY: ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS CONTINUE
In the first nine months of 2022 IGD continued with its energy efficiency program which became even more important given the current rise in energy costs.
In terms of operations, the Company decided to maintain minimum and maximum temperatures inside the shopping centers, while guaranteeing a comfortable environment for shoppers, as well as reduce lighting without, however, compromising safety and launched campaigns designed to raise the awareness of shopping center retailers and visitors.
IGD has been a member, since 2003, of CEE (Consorzio Esperienza Energia), a consortium which provides members with preferred rates for electricity and natural gas. In 2021 CEE acquired a total of 1.6 TWh in energy.
Consistent with its business plan, IGD is closing contracts for the installation in 2023 of two new solar energy systems in two shopping centers and additional projects in other centers are currently being evaluated. In 2021 the 8 systems that are currently functioning produced energy (a total of 2.1 MWp) that covered approximately 7% of the electricity consumed.
The first solar energy system was also recently installed at a freehold shopping center in Romania and two more systems are expected to be installed in 2023.
The roll out of the HVAC system substitutions is also moving forward and the pilot project for AI assisted systems management has been launched.
ASSET MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Work continued in Porta a Mare in Livorno, where the development of the Officine Storiche section, which is nearing completion, has received excellent feedback: pre-letting of the retail space, which is expected to open in the first half of 2023, has reached more than 80%, while binding offers have been received for 30 out of a total of 42 residential units. The first 25 apartments are expected to be delivered by the end of 2022 for an expected cash-in of more than €10 million.
At the same time IGD continued to work on the projects called for in the Business Plan: the remodeling of the hypermarkets inside the La Torre (Palermo) and Katanè (Catania) centers continued, while the restyling of the La Favorita (Mantua) center was completed and will be inaugurated on 10 November 2022.
On 16 September 2022 Fitch Ratings confirmed the Investment Grade rating BBB-, in addition to the stable outlook. The agency’s updated rating was based on key factors, including the normalization of operational indicators in the first 6 months of 2022 at pre-pandemic levels, the increase in rents (including as a result of inflation indexing) and active debt management, as well as the reduction in debt attributable to the sale of the portfolio of hypermarkets and supermarkets completed in November 2021.
The average cost of debt was 2.11% at the end of September, slightly higher than the 2.08% reported at 30 June 2022, while the interest cover ratio or ICR came to 3.74 (unchanged with respect to the first half of 2022).
The net financial debt came to €988.7 million (€956.75 million adj. ex IFRS16), while the gearing ratio came to 0.84x. The Loan- to-Value reached 44.8%, lower than the 45.5% recorded at the end of June 2022.
In August IGD obtained a €215 million 3-year senior unsecured green loan (which may be extended by the company for an additional 2 years). The Company used the proceeds for the advance repayment of a €200 million bank loan, expiring in 2023; thanks to this transaction, and considering available, unutilized committed credit lines, IGD has basically covered its financial maturities for all of 2023.
 Figure updated at 25/10/2022
 Source: CEE website https://www.consorzioesperienzaenergia.it/Share