“Our strategic focus is to concentrate on multi-functional shopping centres in growing urban areas. Therefore, we continued our transformation journey during the first half of 2018 to improve the average quality of our portfolio. In line with our strategy, we have announced the divestment of four secondary assets so far this year. The total proceeds from the divestments amounted to approximately EUR 80 million, which were used to fund our development pipeline. We continue to aim to divest EUR 200-400 million of assets in the coming few years and use the proceeds to strengthen our balance sheet and to fund our development pipeline. Our redevelopment projects have been successful and Iso Omena is a great example of a well-performing prime asset after a redevelopment project. It is also an excellent case study of how to integrate community services in a shopping centre. The footfall doubled and tenant sales grew by 30% in H1/2018 compared to previous year. We are also very much looking forward to opening our next prime asset, Mölndal Galleria, in Gothenburg at the end of September 2018.
Our performance in January-June 2018 was in line with our expectations. We were pleased with our solid operational performance, albeit our EPRA earnings of EUR 0.081 declined during the first half of the year as a result of disposals and negative currency impact. Our total net rental income amounted to EUR 108 million during the period. As of H1/2018 we start commenting a pro forma like-for-like net rental income figure, which includes the impact of shopping centres Iso Omena and Buskerud for the April-June 2018 period. Our pro forma like-for-like net rental income grew by 1.1% illustrating the good progress we are seeing in Iso Omena and its positive impact on our numbers. Excluding Iso Omena and Buskerud, our like-for-like net rental income declined by 0.4% during January-June 2018. In addition, we were pleased with the continued good performance of our operations in Sweden, while the performance in other countries was more subdued. Economic occupancy rate improved by 30 basis points, although we continue to see pressure on non-core asset rental levels, particularly in Finland. During H1/2018, administrative expenses declined significantly due to cost reduction initiatives.
In the retail industry a noticeable divergence between the best and other assets is clearly visible. We also see this polarization in our asset portfolio. We continued to see good performance in our prime shopping centres in major urban areas during the first half of 2018, while the development in secondary shopping centres, particularly in Finland, was softer. As a result, the fair value changes of our investment properties amounted to EUR -34 million during January-June 2018 driven by Finland and Norway.
With half 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 0.155-0.170 for the full year 2018.“
Source: Citycon's Half-Yearly Report, January-June 2018