Citycon H1/2022: Strong operating results beat consensus estimates and result in raising full-year guidance midpoint

Stock exchange releases - 10 August 2022

CITYCON OYJ   Stock exchange release   10 August 2022 at 20:30 hrs

CITYCON RESULTS SUMMARY:


FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

  • Like-for-like net rental income in Q2 increased 9.1% compared to the previous year (+6.2% excluding one-time items)
  • Year-to-date, LFL net rental income increased 6.1% (+4.6%, excluding one-time items)
  • Continuing the Q1 trend, average rent per sq.m. increased by EUR 0.2 in Q2
    • Year-to-date, total average rent per sq.m. increased by EUR 1.0 to EUR 23.6 per sq.m through the combination of indexation and positive leasing spread in all our countries
    • Indexation is calculated at the end of each year so the majority of inflation impact on rents will benefit in 2023
  • Like-for-like footfall in Q2 increased 14.6% and year-to-date 15.3%
  • Like-for-like tenant sales in Q2 increased 8.8%; 5.4% higher than the same period in Q1-Q2/2019 (pre-pandemic level)​
    • Year-to-date, like-for-like tenant sales increased 10.0% compared to previous year
  • Operating properties recorded a sixth consecutive quarter of uplift as fair value change of investment properties in Q2/2022 increased by EUR 8.0 million


DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

  • Phase I of Lippulaiva (retail) opened on 31 March 2022 to an excellent reception from the tenants and customers
      • 94% retail occupancy rate with 1.5 million visitors during first 3 months
    • Anticipated partial 2022 NRI contribution approximately EUR 9 million​
      • Stabilized NRI for full Lippulaiva project (retail and residentials) estimated at EUR 21 million
    • Metro completed and opening by year-end 2022
    • Residential towers opening late 2022
      • Building rights for two residential towers sold demonstrates strong market demand for apartment leasing
      • 6 of 8 residential towers under construction and opening between 2022-2024 (Citycon will own 6).
  • Continue to execute on approximately EUR 300 million of additional building rights’ potential in our existing portfolio with minimal capital expenditure required
    • Approximately EUR 60 million of building rights will be fully available in the next 12 months
    • Opportunity to sell, develop or execute strategic joint ventures
    • Currently, all construction commitments are at guaranteed fix pricing


BALANCE SHEET

  • Repurchased EUR 33.8 million of notional bonds in Q2
    • Additional EUR 20.6 million purchased subsequent to Q2
  • Bond repurchases accretively funded by partial proceeds from non-core Norwegian dispositions
    • 5.2% yield on asset sales vs. 5.3% average yield on recent bond repurchases
  • Citycon has now completed EUR 79 million notional amount of bond repurchases by using approx. EUR 75 million of cash 
     


KEY FIGURES

Q2/2022 Q2/2021 % FX Adjusted % 1)
Net rental income MEUR 52.8 50.8 3.9 % 4.3 %
Like-for-like net rental income development % 9.1 0.9 - -
Direct Operating profit  2) MEUR 46.3 44.1 4.9 % 5.2 %
IFRS Earnings per share (basic) 3) EUR 0.13 0.18 -30.9 % -30.6 %
Fair value of investment properties MEUR 4 216.9 4 292.7 -1.8 % -
Loan to Value (LTV) 2) 4) % 40.8 38.9 5.0 % -
EPRA based key figures 2)
EPRA Earnings MEUR 32.2 32.7 -1.5 % -1.1 %
Adjusted EPRA Earnings 3) MEUR 24.6 27.6 -10.9 % -10.5 %
EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.192 0.183 4.4 % 4.8 %
Adjusted EPRA Earnings per share (basic) 3) EUR 0.146 0.155 -5.6 % -5.2 %
EPRA NRV per share 5) EUR 11.87 11.66 1.8 % -
Q1-Q2/2022 Q1-Q2/2021 % FX Adjusted % 1) 2021   
Net rental income MEUR 101.8 101.2 0.6 % 0.4 % 202.3
Like-for-like net rental income development % 6.1 -4.5 - - -1.5
Direct Operating profit  2) MEUR 86.4 89.0 -2.9 % -3.1 % 176.1
IFRS Earnings per share (basic) 3) EUR 0.26 0.31 -15.4 % -15.4 % 0.55
Fair value of investment properties MEUR 4 216.9 4 292.7 -1.8 % - 4 189.2
Loan to Value (LTV) 2) 4) % 40.8 38.9 5.0 % - 40.3
EPRA based key figures 2)
EPRA Earnings MEUR 60.3 64.3 -6.2 % -6.4 % 124.4
Adjusted EPRA Earnings 3) MEUR 45.2 55.2 -18.2 % -18.3 % 100.0
EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.359 0.361 -0.6 % -0.8 % 0.703
Adjusted EPRA Earnings per share (basic) 3) EUR 0.269 0.310 -13.3 % -13.5 % 0.565
EPRA NRV per share 5) EUR 11.87 11.66 1.8 % - 12.15
1) Change from previous year (comparable exchange rates). Change-% is calculated from exact figures.
2) Citycon presents alternative performance measures according to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) guidelines. More information is presented in Basis of Preparation and Accounting Policies in the notes to the accounts.
3) The adjusted key figure includes hybrid bond coupons and amortized fees.
4) Highly liquid cash investments has been taken into account in net debt.
5) Calculation updated from this and comparison periods. Divided by number of shares at balance sheet date instead of average amount of shares during the reporting period.
6) LTV Q4/2021 changed due to correction related to presentation of IFRS 16 assets. Previously reported LTV for Q4/2021 was 40.7
Standing portfolio key figures 1)
Q2/2022 Q2/2021 % Q1-Q2/2022 Q1-Q2/2021 %
Net rental income MEUR 52.8 47.5 11.2 % 100.5 92.2 9.0 %
Direct Operating profit  2) MEUR 46.3 41.2 12.5 % 85.2 80.5 5.8 %
EPRA based key figures 2)
EPRA Earnings MEUR 32.2 29.7 8.4 % 59.0 55.8 5.8 %
Adjusted EPRA Earnings 3) MEUR 24.6 24.6 -0.1 % 43.9 46.7 -6.0 %
EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.192 0.167 14.9 % 0.351 0.313 12.1 %
Adjusted EPRA Earnings per share (basic) 3) EUR 0.146 0.138 5.8 % 0.261 0.262 -0.4 %
1) New presentation method. Standing portfolio key figures include only income and expenses from investment properties that were on group balance sheet on 30 June 2022. The portfolio is the same in the reporting period and in the comparison period, hence the numbers are comparable.
2) Citycon presents alternative performance measures according to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) guidelines. More information is presented in Basis of Preparation and Accounting Policies in the notes to the accounts.
3) The adjusted key figure includes hybrid bond coupons and amortized fees.


CEO F. SCOTT BALL:

At the half-way period of the year, the operating performance continues to demonstrate the strength and resilience of Citycon´s portfolio.  Like-for-like net rental income increased 9.1% for the quarter and 6.1% year-to-date, (excluding one-time items 6.2% in Q2 and 4.6% in Q1-Q2).  NRI improvement was driven by like-for-like tenant sales in Q2/2022, which were 8.8% above Q2/2021 and 5.4% above Q1-Q2/2019 pre-pandemic levels.  This performance reflects the quality and stability of Citycon´s grocery- / municipal-anchored centres, which serve as last mile logistic hubs for customers and tenants.  Moving forward into 2023, these assets will continue to benefit from inflation as 92% of leases are tied to indexation, which is calculated at the end of the year.  Strong leasing activity also contributed to the outperformance in the first half of the year as retail occupancy grew to 95.0%.  Positive leasing spreads (+3%) translated to average rent per square meter continuing its positive trend and increased 1.0 EUR to 23.6 EUR/sq.m, year-to-date.

Phase I of Lippulaiva opened on March 31, 2022 and the retail is currently 94% leased.  Lippulaiva is the prototype of the direction of our portfolio, combining large grocery anchors (44% of total GLA), a wide range of private and municipal services, significant food and beverage, and great public transportation access, as the brand-new metro line attached to the centre begins operation by year-end. Just as importantly, the project is completely powered using geothermal energy generated on site, and has been recognized as the world´s first retail property to be awarded Smart Building’s Gold certificate.  In addition, the first residential towers at Lippulaiva will come online in late 2022.  Leasing of these residential units has begun, and lease rates are outperforming our underwriting.  Construction of the two pads, which were sold to Hausia, are near completion and will open at the end of the year with sales at the condos reported to be very strong.  In total, there will be 560 residential units as part of the final project.  As stated previously, we expect Lippulaiva to contribute EUR 9+ million of NRI in partial-year 2022 with the stabilized NRI estimated to be approximately EUR 21 million, including six rental residential buildings. 

As previously discussed, we have identified approximately EUR 300 million of potential building rights imbedded in our existing assets, which offer significant value creation potential with minimal capital expenditure.  We expect that approximately EUR 60 million of building rights will be realized in the next 12 months.  We have multiple ways to monetize the value of these rights (sell, joint venture, self develop) and, they enhance our grocery-anchored urban hubs, further solidifying these assets which are connected to transportation and are located in most densely populated cities in the Nordics.  Our current capital commitments consist of Lippulaiva residential units (EUR 47.9 million), Origo/Stockholm (EUR 62.9 million in 2024) and Herkules (no capex as land contributed to JV).  It is important to note that our limited construction commitments are at guaranteed fixed pricing.

Looking to the balance sheet, Citycon remains committed to maintaining its an investment grade rating.  During Q2 and subsequent to quarter end, we continued to reduce debt by repurchasing bonds in the open market for approx. EUR 54 million notional and EUR 50 million in cash.   These actions, combined with continued improvements in operating and fair value metrics, further stabilizes Citycon´s well laddered maturity profile and credit metrics.  Year-to-date, Citycon has now accretively repurchased EUR 79 million of notional bonds during 2022.  We have no significant maturities until October 2024, 100% of our debt is fixed, 100% of our assets unencumbered, and over EUR 533.8 million of liquidity, including the full availability of our credit facility.

Our operational metrics continue to positively impact asset values as our operating properties recorded a sixth consecutive quarter of uplift in net fair value change of investment properties.  Net fair value change of investment properties in Q2/2022 was EUR 8.0 million.  Fair values were negatively impacted by recently weaker SEK and NOK currency rates. EPRA NRV per share increased by 1.8% compared to Q2/2021.  Year-to-date we have sold two assets for EUR 145 million and over EUR 400 million over the last 18 months, at pricing that exceeded our book values.

Overall, the operating performance has been strong in the face of an inflationary environment.  With 92% of leases being indexed for inflation and occupancy cost at 8.8%, there is ample headroom for rent growth. As mentioned, this indexation is calculated at the end of each year so the bulk of the inflation impact on rents will be seen starting in 2023.  Given our tenant mix, our centres are also more resilient and less reliant on consumer discretionary spending than fashion-oriented centres.   As evidenced by our operational outperformance during the pandemic, Citycon’s portfolio is positioned to, once again, outperform in the current economic environment.  These factors, combined with strong results from Q2, have provided us the confidence to tighten and raise our guidance by 2% on Direct operating profit, 5% on EPRA EPS and 2% on Adjusted EPRA EPS versus our initial 2022 guidance provided in February.


OUTLOOK FOR THE YEAR 2022 (SPECIFIED)

Citycon forecasts the 2022 direct operating profit to be in range EUR 170–180million, EPRA EPS EUR 0.68–0.72 and adjusted EPRA EPS EUR 0.50–0.58.

Current (10 August 2022) Previous (5 May 2022) Midpoint change vs previous Initial (17 February 2022) Midpoint change vs. initial
Direct operating profit MEUR 170–180 168–180 +1 164–180 +3
EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.68–0.72 0.66–0.72 +0.01 0.62–0.72 +0,03
Adjusted EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.50–0.58 0.49–0.58 +0.005 0.48–0.58 +0,01


The outlook assumes that there are no major changes in macroeconomic factors and that there will not be another wave of COVID-19 with restrictions resulting in significant store closures and no major disruptions from the war in Ukraine.  These estimates are based on the existing property portfolio as well as on the prevailing level of inflation, the EUR–SEK and EUR–NOK exchange rates, and current interest rates.


AUDIOCAST

Citycon's investor, analyst and press conference call and live audiocast will be arranged on 11 August 2022 at 10 a.m. EEST. The audiocast can be participated by calling in and followed live on the following website:  https://citycon.videosync.fi/2022-q2

Conference call numbers are:
Participants from Europe +44 (0)330 165 3641
Participants from the US +1 646-828-8082
PIN: 181139


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

Helsinki, 10 August 2022
Citycon Oyj
Board of Directors

For further information, please contact:

Bret McLeod
Chief Financial Officer
Tel. +46 73 326 8455
bret.mcleod@citycon.com

Sakari Järvelä
VP, Corporate Finance and Investor Relations
Tel. +358 50 387 8180
sakari.jarvela@citycon.com


Citycon is a leading owner, manager and developer of mixed-use real estate featuring modern, necessity-based retail with residential, office and municipal service spaces that enhance the communities in which they operate. Citycon is committed to sustainable property management in the Nordic region with assets that total approximately EUR 4.5 billion. Our centres are located in urban hubs in the heart of vibrant communities with direct connections to public transport and anchored by grocery, healthcare and other services that cater to the everyday needs of customers.

Citycon has investment-grade credit ratings from Moody's (Baa3) and Standard & Poor's (BBB-). Citycon Oyj’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.

www.citycon.com

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