The negative impact of the anti-Covid measures on the income statement diminishes, while the net financial position improves
The results in IGD’s income statement continue to be impacted heavily by the restrictions on operations imposed in order to contain the spread of the virus. The net one-off impact recognized as a result of the closures is, however, €1.5 million lower than the €9.3 million posted in the first half of 2020.
Even though the FFO was down 6%, occupancy rose to good levels thanks to effective pre-letting and marketing activities, while rent collection came to a reassuring 83% for the Italian portfolio.
With assets of €2,267.88 million (+0.1% compared to year-end 2020) and lower net financial debt the Loan-to-Value drops to 49.1%.
In the first half of 2021 IGD once again had to contend with the difficult operating conditions caused by the anti-Covid restrictions which were first applied in fall 2020 to then remain in place through 17 May 2021: in the first six months of 2021 non-essential businesses were forced to remain closed 36% of the possible days of operation, versus 39% in the same period of 2020.
In the first six months of 2021 footfalls at the shopping centers in Italy were higher (+10.2%) than in the first half of 2020, with an even greater increase in retailers’ sales (+23.4%) which confirms the trend seen over the past few months, namely higher average tickets with more targeted and selective shopping. Even though the results were better than in the first half of 2020, the comparison with the pre-pandemic operating metrics is still negative: compared to the first half of 2019 footfalls were, in fact, down 29.4%, while retailers’ sales fell 24.5% (versus the average of -29% for Italian malls indicated by CNCC).
However, the results seen in June 2021 – the first full month of operation since the lifting of the anti-Covid restrictions on 17 May – are encouraging: footfalls rose 8.2%, while sales were 17.4% higher than in June 2020; the comparison with June 2019 shows that, while footfalls were still lower (around -15%), retailers’ sales were slightly higher (+0.3%).
In the first half of 2021 a total of 126 leases were signed (85 renewals and 46 turnover), with a slight downside of -1.0%. The negotiations with tenants relative to the periods of mandatory closures are proceeding. Similar to what was done in 2020, the goal is to give temporary rebates and reschedule payments while maintaining the structure of the leases. Reassuring signals also came from rent collection which reached 83% in Italy and 93% in Romania.
As the pre-letting and marketing activities continued even during the periods with the most stringent restrictions, Financial Occupancy at the Italian centers was 100 basis points higher than at year-end 2020, coming in at 95.3%. In Romania the Financial Occupancy also improved, rising from 93.6% at year-end 2020 to 94.3% at the end of June 2021, due to the gradual reopening of businesses.
Given this operating environment, net rental income fell €0.8 million (-1.4%) in the first six months of 2021 to €55.5 million. Compared to the first half of 2020, on the one hand, this result reflects a €1.5 million reduction in the direct impact of the measures taken in response to the Covid closures, mainly discounts and credit losses, net savings on rents payable. On the other hand, rental income before the Covid discounts was €2 million lower attributable mainly to Italian malls which reported a decrease in revenue of 3.3% due to vacancies in the half and longer average terms to turnover. The contribution of hypermarkets was positive with an increase of 0.6%.
Core business EBITDA amounted to €50.6 million in the first six months of 2021, a decrease of €0.8 million (-1.6%) attributable mainly to the drop in net rental income.
Financial charges amounted to €16.7 million in the first half of 2021 (lower than the €18 million reported in the first half of 2020); net the accounting impact of IFRS 16 and non-recurring expenses, this figure was 6.4% lower than at 30 June 2020.
Funds from Operations (FFO) amounted to €30.9 million, down with respect to 30 June 2020 (-6.8%), including the estimated net direct impact of Covid-19.
The net financial debt was €1,134.8 million at 30.06.2021 (€1,090.4 million ex IFRS 16), about €20.7 million lower with respect to year-end 2020.
The market value of Gruppo IGD’s real estate portfolio reached €2,267.88 million, an increase like-for-like of 0.10% compared to December 2020, driven by the valuations of hypermarkets (+0.5%). Including leasehold properties, the market value of the real estate portfolio reaches €2,305.57 million.
The Loan-to-Value, therefore, fell from the 49.9% recorded at year-end 2020 to 49.1% at 30 June 2021.
|1H 2021||Change vs 1H 2020|
|Net rental income||55.5 € mn||-1.4%|
|Core business EBITDA||50.6 € mn||-1.6%|
|Core business EBITDA margin
|Funds From Operations (FFO)||30.6 € mn||-6.8%|