Citycon Oyj's Interim Report for 1 January - 30 September 2018: Solid Operating Performance Continued and Administrative expenses Declined Significantly

Citycon Oyj's Interim Report for 1 January - 30 September 2018: Solid Operating Performance Continued and Administrative expenses Declined Significantly

PR Newswire

ESPOO, Finland, October 18, 2018

ESPOO, Finland, October 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Citycon Oyj   Interim Report   18 October 2018 at 09:00 hrs 

- Occupancy remained at a high level of 96.1%.
- Successful opening of newest asset Mölndal Galleria in Gothenburg Sweden.
- Divestments conducted in 2017 and in 2018 as well as weaker currencies impacted net rental income and EPRA Earnings as expected.
- Cost savings initiatives progressed well and administrative expenses decreased significantly by 14% year-on-year.
- Fair value change of investment properties was EUR -54.2 million mainly driven by secondary assets in Finland and Norway.
- Loan-to-value (LTV) increased to 48.2% as a result of fair value changes and higher outstanding debt mainly due to the acquisition of the remaining 50% share in Mölndal Galleria. 
- Guidance related to Direct operating profit, EPRA Earnings and EPRA Earnings per share specified.

JULY-SEPTEMBER 2018

- Net rental income was EUR 53.6 million (Q3/2017: 58.6). Divestments decreased net rental income by EUR 5.1 million and weaker currencies by EUR 1.3 million.
- EPRA Earnings was EUR 36.8 million (39.3) due to lower net rental income following disposals. Lower administrative and direct net financial expenses partly offset this reduction. EPRA Earnings per share (basic) was EUR 0.041 (0.044), negative impact from weaker currencies was EUR 0.001
- IFRS-based earnings per share was EUR -0.01 (0.01) as a result of increase in net financial expenses due to indirect one-off costs of EUR 21.5 million mainly related to the bond tender as well as impacts from divestments and currencies. Bond buy-back will reduce financing costs going forward.

JANUARY-SEPTEMBER 2018

- Net rental income was EUR 161.2 million (Q1-Q3/2017: 174.6). (Re)development projects and acquisition of Straedet in Denmark increased NRI by EUR 6.2 million, while property divestments decreased net rental income by EUR 14.4 million and weaker SEK and NOK by EUR 4.2 million
- EPRA Earnings was EUR 109.3 million (118.5) due to lower net rental income. Lower administrative expenses as well as direct net financial expenses partly offset this reduction. EPRA Earnings per share (basic) was EUR 0.123 (0.133), negative impact from weaker currencies was EUR 0.004
- IFRS-based earnings per share was EUR 0.01 (0.07) as a result of net fair value losses on investment properties, increase in net financial expenses and impacts from property divestments as well as currencies.

KEY FIGURES


   
                                            Q1-Q3   Q1-Q3            Comparable
                      Q3/2018 Q3/2017 %1)   /2018   /2017     %1)    change % 3)   2017
    Net rental
    income       MEUR   53.6    58.6 -8.6% 161.2    174.6     -7.7%   -5.4%        228.5
    Direct
    operating
    profit 2)    MEUR 47.8    51.7  -7.5% 143.6    154.7     -7.2%    -4.8%        200.5
    Earnings per
    share
    (basic)      EUR  -0.01   0.01    -     0.01    0.07      -82.7% -81.8%        0.10
    Fair value
    of
    investment
    properties   MEUR 4,183.4 4,184.2 0.0%  4,183.4 4,184.2   0.0%    -         4,183.4
    Loan to
    Value (LTV)
    2)           %    48.2    47.5    1.5%  48.2    47.5      1.5%    -            46.7
    EPRA based
    key figures
    2)
    EPRA
    Earnings     MEUR 36.8    39.3    -6.4% 109.3   118.5     -7.8%  -6.3%        152.3
    EPRA
    Earnings per
    share
    (basic)      EUR  0.041   0.044   -6.4% 0.123   0.133     -7.8%  -6.3%        0.171
    EPRA NAV per
    share        EUR  2.66    2.78    -4.3% 2.66    2.78      -4.3%   -            2.71

1) Change from previous year. Change-% is calculated from exact figures.
2) Citycon presents alternative performance measures according to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) new guidelines. 
More information is presented in Basis of Preparation and Accounting Policies in the notes to the accounts.
3) Change from previous year (comparable exchange rates). Change-% is calculated from exact figures.

CEO MARCEL KOKKEEL:

"Our strategic focus is to concentrate on multi-functional shopping centres in growing urban areas. During the third quarter, we continued to execute on our strategy and successfully opened our newest shopping centre Mölndal Galleria in greater Gothenburg in Sweden. The new centre consist of 26,000 square meters of retail, groceries, food and beverage as well as services with excellent connections to public transportation at the heart of the growing city of Mölndal. Mölndal Galleria is a true testimony to Citycon's strategy to recycle and deploy capital to high quality irreplaceable assets in growing urban areas. We have been very pleased with how Mölndal Galleria has been received by the local community and we are confident that it will be the social and commercial hub of the surrounding community.

In January-September 2018 our business developed in line with our expectations. Our operating performance remained solid, but our EPRA earnings declined to EUR 0.123 as a result of disposals and negative currency impact. However, thanks to our strict cost management measures, administrative expenses declined significantly. During the reporting period, net rental income amounted to EUR 161 million and the pro-forma like-for-like net rental income, which includes Iso Omena and Buskerud shopping centres for the April-September period, grew by 0.8%.

During the third quarter, we successfully completed the re-financing of a bond expiring in 2020. In August, we issued a EUR 300 million Eurobond to institutional investors and used most of the proceeds to buy back part of a EUR 500 million bond expiring in 2020. As a result, we de-risked the re-financing of a large bond expiring in 2020, whilst the average cost of debt improved to 2.36% and the average loan maturity now clearly exceeds our target of over 5 years.

In the retail industry a noticeable divergence between the best and other assets is clearly visible. We continue to see this polarization also in our asset portfolio. The performance in our prime shopping centres in major urban areas remained good during January-September 2018, while the development in secondary shopping centres, particularly in Finland, was softer. As a result, the fair value changes of our investment properties were EUR -54.2 million during January-September 2018 driven by Finland and Norway. Due to negative fair value changes and higher debt, our loan-to-value metric increased to 48.2% at the end of September. Lowering the loan-to-value remains a key priority for management. We aim to divest EUR 200-400 million of assets in the coming few years and use the proceeds to strengthen our balance sheet.

With three quarters of the year now behind us and after the announced divestments, we have specified our guidance range. We now expect our EPRA EPS to be in the range of EUR 0.1575-0.1675 for the full year 2018."

OUTLOOK 2018 SPECIFIED


   
                                                          Previously
    EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR   0.1575 - 0.1675 0.155 - 0.170
    Direct operating profit 1)      MEUR  -14 to -5       -14 to -1
    EPRA Earnings 1)                MEUR  -12 to -3       -14 to -1

1) Change compared to the previous year

These estimates are based on the existing property portfolio and on the prevailing level of inflation, the EUR-SEK and EUR-NOK exchange rates, and current interest rates. Guidance for 2018 includes around EUR -5 million impact from weaker currencies. Premises taken offline for planned or ongoing (re)development projects reduce net rental income during the year.

EVENTS AFTER THE REPORTING PERIOD

No material events after the reporting period.

AUDIOCAST

Citycon's investor, analyst and press conference call and live audiocast will be arranged on Thursday 18 October 2018 at 10 am EEST. The audiocast can be participated by calling in and followed live at: https://citycon.videosync.fi/2018-q3-interim-report

Conference call numbers are:
Participants from Europe +44-3333-000-804                                 PIN: 20016107#
Participants from the US +1-6319-131-422                                  PIN: 20016107#

For more investor information, please visit the company's website at www.citycon.com.

Espoo, 17 October 2018
Citycon Oyj
Board of Directors

Citycon is a leading owner, manager and developer of urban, grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic region, managing assets that total approximately EUR 4.5 billion. Citycon is No. 1 shopping centre owner in Finland and among the market leaders in Norway, Sweden and Estonia. Citycon has also established a foothold in Denmark.

Citycon has investment-grade credit ratings from Moody's (Baa2) and Standard & Poor's (BBB). Citycon Oyj's share is listed in Nasdaq Helsinki. 

http://mb.cision.com/Main/13399/2647649/928428.pdf


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