The restrictive measures in place for Covid-19 continue to weigh on the income statement, while the Net Financial Position improves
The first quarter 2021 accounts reflect the penalizing operating conditions stemming from the mandatory closures imposed to contain the pandemic. Despite the €6.9 million drop in FFO, the pre-letting and marketing of the spaces, as well as the positive outcome of the negotiations with tenants, made it possible to maintain a good level of occupancy and rent collection as a percentage of IGD’s turnover unchanged.
The first quarter of 2021 was impacted by the difficult context created by the anti-Covid restrictions which limited the operation of the “non-essential” activities in IGD’s malls.
Even though these retailers had to close roughly half of the possible days of operation, versus “only” one fourth in the same quarter 2020, the main operating metrics provide a few reassuring signals as to the ability of IGD’s centers to remain attractive, safe and convenient places to shop.
While the footfalls fell 19.5% with respect to the first quarter of 2020, the drop in sales at the malls was lower (-14.4%) in the face of less frequent, but more targeted, shopping as proven by the average ticket which rose 21.6%.
The Financial Occupancy at the Italian centers came to 93.6%, falling 90 basis points due mainly to the carry-over effect of the restrictions in place as of November. In Romania occupancy rose 80 basis points to 94.4%. Occupancy was sustained by the timely remarketing of the spaces vacated by a few retailers experiencing difficulties due to the pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021 72 new leases (22 for turnover) were signed in Italy, while an impressive 133 new leases (58 for turnover) were signed in Romania. Despite the difficult period, during the first four months of the year 24 stores were opened in Italy, including 17 new brands and 7 restyled points of sale.
Tenant negotiations are still ongoing, consistent with the methods used in 2020, which did not result in any changes being made to the structure of the leases as the focus was on temporary discounts. The good level of rent collection was also encouraging, reaching around 75% in Italy and more than 88% in Romania.
As a result of the limits on operation and the operating performance, the net rental income fell 20.7% in the first three months of 2021 to €26.2 million. Excluding the direct, one-off impact of the pandemic, estimated at €5.4 million, the decrease like-for-like is attributable mainly to the Italian portfolio, namely malls (-4%), due largely to lower revenue from the rental of temporary spaces, while hypermarkets rose 1.1%.
Core business Ebitda fell 21.6% to €23.8 million in the first quarter of 2021, due mainly to the drop in rental income, while net services income improved slightly.
Financial charges amounted to €8.8 million in the first quarter of 2021 (versus €9.0 million in the first quarter of 2020); adjusted for IFRS 16 and non-recurring expenses, the figure shows a decrease of 1.5% against year-end 2020.
Funds from Operations (FFO) amounted to €13.8 million, 33.3% lower than in the same period 2020. Out of a total decrease of €6.9 million, €5.4 million is explained by the direct net impact of Covid-19.
The net financial debt was €1,145.4 million at 31.03.2021 (-€1,101.8 million adj. ex IFRS16), approximately €10 million lower with respect to year-end 2020. The Loan-to-Value was below the 50% threshold, coming in at 49.5%, showing slight improvement against the 49.9% recorded at year-end 2020.
|1Q 2021||Change vs 1Q 2020|
|Net rental income||26,2 € mn||-20,7%|
|Core business EBITDA||23,8 € mn||-21,6%|
|Core business EBITDA margin
|Funds From Operations (FFO)||13,8 € mn||-33,3%|
|Loan-to-Value||49,5% (adj. IFRS16 c. 47,6%)|