MERLIN Properties consolidates its recovery with strong results
- Gross revenues: € 53 million (+0.4%)
- EBITDA: € 377.2 million (+3.2%)
- Gross asset value: € 13.041 million (+2.0%)
- Net asset value per share: € 16.11 (+4.2%)
- Operating profit (“FFO”): € 273.0 million (+4.1%)
- Operating profit exceeded € 273 million (equivalent to €58 cents per share), exceeding the guidance provided to the market at the beginning of the period (€56 cents per share)
- Growth in all key financial and operating metrics such as occupancy (94.5% +21 bps vs. 2020), like-for-like revenues (+0.2 vs. 2020) and cash flow generation (+4.1% vs. 2020)
- Net asset value according to EPRA recommendations (“EPRA NTA”) stands at €16.11 per share, up 4.2% vs. last year
- LTV stands at 39.2%, down from 2020 (39.9%) despite the distribution to shareholders of €210 million or €0.45 cents per share during the period
Madrid, February 23.- MERLIN Properties has reported FY21 results, with total revenues of €512.1 million (including gross rents of €505.3 million), recurring EBITDA of €377.2 million and operating profit of €273.0 million (€58 cents per share). Covid incentives in the year amounted to €24.9 million, of which only €1.2 million in 4Q21.
Gross asset value (GAV) of the portfolio amounts to €13,041 million (+2.0% vs. 2020), with logistics being the fastest growing category (+14.5%). Offices and net leases remained in line with the previous year, while shopping centers suffered a slight adjustment of -1.6%. Net asset value of the portfolio amounts to €7,567 million (€16.11 per share), up 4.2% vs. 2020.
After the distribution to shareholders of €210 million or € 45 cents per share, LTV stands at 39.2% (vs. 39.9% in 2020), with a liquidity position of € 1,811 million and with the average debt maturity of 5.3 years. The Company has cancelled the €548.3 million bond, maturing in 2022 and with a 2.375% coupon.
- Business performance
Like-for-like rental evolution in the period (-1.2%) improving compared to 6M21 (-2.9%) and 9M21 (-2.1%), thanks to the occupancy stabilization. Occupancy stands at 90.1%, beating the guidance to the market (89.1%-89.6%) provided at the beginning of the year. This upward trend is expected to continue throughout 2022, with an increase of another 150 bps in occupancy (91.5%).
- Landmark plan I
The Landmark plan is nearing completion following the delivery of Castellana 85 in Madrid and Monumental in Lisbon, 100% occupied. Thanks to this value creation plan, more than €20 million of additional rents have been generated and €475 million of value has been created. Only the refurbishment of Plaza Ruiz Picasso, a large-scale project in the heart of AZCA, remains to be completed and will be delivered by the end of 2023.
- Business performance
The logistics market continues to be boosted by the pandemic-driven growth in online sales. Like-for-like rents acccelerating (+1.6% vs. 2020) thanks to the gain in occupancy and with a release spread of 4.0%. Very interesting year in terms of take-up with more than 240,000 sqm signed. Occupancy is at all-times high, and this milestone continues in 2022 after signing 16,100 sqm with Leroy Merlin in A4-Getafe (CLA).
- Plan Best II & III
Two turnkey projects, totalling more than 90,000 sqm, have been signed in the period and will be delivered in mid-2022. Additionally, after the delivery of 95,987 sqm to Decathlon and 8,168 sqm to Maersk, the development of the ZAL Port landbank has been concluded. MERLIN has been able to develop from scratch a unique logistics portfolio, in prime locations and at very compelling prices, thanks to its policy of securing landbank early in the cycle.
- Business performance
Occupancy in shopping centers (94.2%) exceeds pre-pandemic levels. The commercial policy and the intense commercialization effort have paid off, with 33,600 sqm signed during the year. Sales and footfall continue to recover. OCR stands at 12.1%, compared to 12.9% in 2020 and 12.6% in 2019.
Incentives from the commercial policy, ended in June 2021, have amounted to €24.9m in the period, recorded as a one-off expense, not straight lined.
- Flagship plan
Flagship plan completed with the delivery of Porto Pi in Mallorca and Saler in Valencia. To adapt to new trends, new commercial formats and to meet market demands in a post-Covid world, more than 230,000 sqm have been refurbished thanks to Flagship.
Mega Plan (Data Centers)
The development of Mega Plan is about to begin, with strong commercial interest from potential tenants. The license for the first module of the data center located in the Basque Country has already been granted and the Company is in advanced negotiations to lease 67% of the asset.
The gross asset value (GAV) of MERLIN amounts to €13,041 million as of December 31st 2021, following the appraisals performed by Savills, CBRE and JLL, versus a GAV of €12,811 million in FY20. By asset class, offices and net leases remained relatively flat, shopping centers fell slightly and logistics, boosted by the market and the excellent performance of the portfolio, rose by 14.5%.
Net asset value amounts to €7,567 million, equivalent to €16.11 EPRA NTA per share, with a 4.2% increase compared to 2020 (€15.46 per share). The total shareholder return for the period stands at 7.1% (vs. 1.4% in 2020).
As part of its non-core asset disposal policy, MERLIN has divested €238 million at a 5.4% premium.
MERLIN has obtained a very good score in the 2021 GRESB edition (81 out of 100) and in the Carbon Disclosure Project (B). In addition, progress continues in the portfolio’s certification program, having achieved 26 new LEED/BREEAM certifications in 2021, bringing the percentage of certified assets to over 91% and making it feasible to reach the ambitious target, which we set years ago, of 99% certified in 2022. Finally, the Company has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe, the only company in the Spanish real estate sector to form part of this select index.
The Company expects to continue on the same upward trend in 2022. In offices, occupancy is expected to rise by 150 bps to close at pre-Covid levels by year-end (91.5%) and in shopping centers occupancy is expected to increase to 94.5%. Furthermore, the Company will benefit from rising inflation.
The Company has provided FFO guidance to the market for 2022 of €64 cents per share, in the absence of further pandemic waves. In addition, a €25 cents minimum dividend is expected for the 2021 financial year (pending approval by the AGM and distributed in May) and an interim dividend of €20 cents will be suggested to the Board to be distributed in 2H2022.
About MERLIN Properties
MERLIN Properties SOCIMI, S.A. (MC:MRL) is the largest real estate company trading on the Spanish Stock Exchange. Specialized in the acquisition and management of commercial property in the Iberian region. MERLIN Properties mainly invests in offices, shopping centers and logistics facilities, within the Core and Core Plus segments, forming part of the benchmark IBEX-35, Euro STOXX 600, FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Real Estate, GPR Global Index, GPR-250 Index, MSCI Small Caps indices and DJSI.
Please visit www.merlinproperties.com to learn more about the company.
For further information please contact:
Nuria Salas, firstname.lastname@example.org, +34 629 56 84 71
Sarah Estébanez, email@example.com, +34 636 62 80 41