Return to organic growth based on sustainability and innovation

Between 2020 and 2021 the global pandemic caused by Covid-19 impacted IGD’s business significantly, interrupting the prior development path which had led to an average yearly increase in Funds from Operations of 16.5% between 2015 and 2019 and of more than 33% progression in the dividend over the same period.

In 2020 and 2021 the “non-essential” retail businesses comprising IGD’s portfolio were forced to close for up to 131 days.  The Group recorded a direct impact attributable to Covid of around €27 million (in addition to other indirect effects) and decided to reduce investments and dividends in order to strengthen its financial structure.

For this reason, in August 2020 IGD communicated to the market that the objectives of the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan should no longer be considered current, although the strategic guidelines aimed at consolidating the leadership of its shopping centers in their respective catchment areas remain current.

In such an unfavorable environment, however, IGD’s business model proved to be particularly resilient: the occupancy rate remained high, 2021 rent collection is above 94% and shoppers have brought good results with tenant sales almost in line with the period June-December 2019 (with the almost complete cancellation of the restrictions previously introduced), confirming the appeal of our shopping centers and, more generally, the key role that in-person shopping still has.

The pandemic also triggered the acceleration of some, pre-existing macro-trends:

  • Social transformation and changes in consumer needs
  • Digitalization and growing interaction between online and offline, resulting in more personalized offers
  • “Green Revolution” with increased attention being paid to environmental issues and “ESG factors” as drivers for development

IGD Group has therefore adjusted its operational strategy by focusing the Business Plan on the adaptation of physical spaces and merchandising mix, as well as on the continuation of its commitment to reduce the overall carbon footprint plan.

 

“The Business Plan 2022-2024 shows that we are strongly committed to ESG factors, to investing in the innovation and digitalization of our shopping centers as we look to the future and prepare them for the new market challenges. At the same time, we have set important economic-financial goals for ourselves, growing the recurring net profit and resuming payment of dividends to our shareholders while also reducing financial leverage, as well as consolidating the investment grade profile we have achieved”

Claudio Albertini, IGD’s CEO

2022-2024 MAIN FINANCIAL TARGETS

+17/20%
Net Rental income
>30%
Funds from Operations
40/43%
Loan to Value
€ 0.50
Dividend per share 2024

Primary goal of the Plan is the proactive management of the assets in order to prepare them for the future and the new market challenges

 

The Plan is articulated on 4 operational areas:

  • Commercial and marketing strategy: acceleration of commercial and marketing strategy with a focus on omni-channel attributes, in terms of both structure (merchandising mix – format – layout) and technological/digital innovation (CRM – tenant and customer engagement);
  • Asset management strategy: investment program of more than €80 million aimed at making the assets increasingly more attractive and innovative, reducing their environmental inmpact;
  • Financial strategy: with the aim of obtaining the best conditions possible in any market environment and limiting exposure to financial risks;
  • Sustainability strategy: which calls for important steps to be taken to reduce the portfolio’s environmental impact, with the objective to reach zero emissions by 2030.

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