Citycon Oyj’s Interim Report for 1 January – 30 September 2020: Solid performance in COVID-19 environment

Citycon Oyj   Stock Exchange Release   4 November 2020 at 09:00 hrs

CITYCON’S OPERATIONAL FIGURES WERE STRONG IN Q3

  • YTD total tenant sales were slightly above prior year (+0.3%) reflecting an increase in average consumer purchase
  • Rent collection for YTD stands currently at 94%, Q3 currently at 93%. % and H1 at 95%.
  • YTD financial performance remained solid: total net rental income adjusted for FX rates was -2.2%
  • Administrative expenses declined from last year by -5.0%
  • Valuation decline was modest being -0.6 % in Q3
  • Leasing activity has continued strong – YTD we have 175,000 sq.m. commencing compared to 113,000 for the corresponding period in 2019

JULY—SEPTEMBER 2020

  • Net rental income was EUR 52.9 million (Q3/2019: 54.2). Net rental income was affected by COVID-19 pandemic and discounts granted to tenants in Q2 as well as lower turnover based rents and parking income. The acquisition of SPII in Norway, closed in the beginning of 2020, increased net rental income by EUR 2.6 million. This was offset by impact of weaker currencies that reduced net rental income by EUR 1.1 million.
  • EPRA Earnings decreased to EUR 33.5 million (35.5) as result of a decrease in net rental income, currency changes, lower share of profit of joint ventures and associated companies. EPRA Earnings per share (basic) was EUR 0.188 (0.199), impact from weaker currencies being EUR -0.005 per share.
  • Adjusted EPRA earnings decreased to EUR 29.4 million (35.5) due to hybrid bond coupons for the bond issued in late 2019 and lower earnings.
  • IFRS-based earnings per share was EUR -0.00 (0.08) as a result of higher fair value losses, lower net rental income and hybrid bond coupons and expenses.

JANUARY—SEPTEMBER 2020

  • Net rental income was EUR 155.5 million (Q1-Q3: 164.0). Acquisitions increased NRI by EUR 6.7 million, while previous year’s divestments and weaker NOK and SEK decreased net rental income by EUR 2.4 million and by EUR 5.0 million respectively. Like-for-like net rental income decreased by EUR 5.9 million mainly due to discounts granted to tenants in Q2 and volume driven income items that were affected by Covid-19 pandemic.
  • EPRA Earnings decreased to EUR 104.5 million (110.0) as result of lower net rental income, currency changes, lower share of profit of joint ventures and associated companies. EPRA Earnings per share (basic) was EUR 0.587 (0.618), impact from weaker currencies being EUR -0.025 per share.
  • Adjusted EPRA earnings decreased to EUR 92.4 million (110.0) due to hybrid bond coupons for the bond issued in late 2019 and weaker earnings.
  • IFRS earnings per share was EUR -0.18 (0.19) as a result of higher fair value losses, lower net rental income and hybrid bond coupons.
 

KEY FIGURES

Q3/2020

Q3/2019 % Comparable
change % 1)
Net rental income MEUR 52.9 54.2 -2.4 % -0.4 %
Direct Operating profit  2) MEUR 47.1 48.0 -1.8 % 0.4 %
IFRS Earnings per share (basic) 3) EUR 0.00 0.08 - -
Fair value of investment properties  MEUR 4155.1 4105.9 1.2 % -
Loan to Value (LTV) 2) % 46.8 49.6 -5.8 % -
EPRA based key figures 2)
EPRA Earnings MEUR 33.5 35.5 -5.7 % -3.2 %
Adjusted EPRA Earnings 3) MEUR 29.4 35.5 -17.2 % -15.0 %
EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.188 0.199 -5.7 % -3.2 %
Adjusted EPRA Earnings per share (basic) 3) EUR 0.165 0.199 -17.2 % -15.0 %
EPRA NAV per share EUR 11.14 12.58 -11.5 % -

Q1-Q3/2020

Q1-Q3/2019 % Comparable
change % 1)
2019
Net rental income MEUR 155.5 164.0 -5.2 % -2.2 % 217.4
Direct Operating profit  2) MEUR 137.3 146.4 -6.2 % -3.0 % 193.5
IFRS Earnings per share (basic) 3) EUR -0.18 0.19 - - 0.04
Fair value of investment properties  MEUR 4155.1 4105.9 1.2 % - 4160.2
Loan to Value (LTV) 2) % 46.8 49.6 -5.8 % - 42.4
EPRA based key figures 2)
EPRA Earnings MEUR 104.5 110.0 -4.9 % -1.0 % 145.6
Adjusted EPRA Earnings 3) MEUR 92.4 110.0 -16.0 % -12.5 % 143.9
EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.587 0.618 -4.9 % -1.0 % 0.818
Adjusted EPRA Earnings per share (basic) 3) EUR 0.519 0.618 -16.0 % -12.5 % 0.809
EPRA NAV per share EUR 11.14 12.58 -11.5 % - 12.28

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.

 

CEO F. SCOTT BALL:

Stability in an unstable world

Citycon continued to demonstrate the strength and stability of its portfolio in the COVID-19 environment. The strong operational figures reflect our convenient urban hub strategy, which is focused on necessity and municipal services tenants while operating in the strongest cities in the Nordic countries that have outperformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Financial performance

The strong operational performance was reflected in Citycon’s financials. Total NRI adjusted for FX rates was -2.2% after three quarters. Our like-for-like net rental income decline also remained relatively modest being -4.7% for the same period (also adjusted for FX rates). The decline was mainly driven by lower volume-based revenue such as parking fees, specialty leasing and volume-based leases that suffer from lower footfall. Our core business remains fundamentally strong and stable. While there were no new COVID-19 related discounts granted to tenants during Q3, discounts given in Q2 slightly affected net rental income. At the same time, our rent collection remained strong, YTD collection rate standing currently at 94% and Q3 at 93%. The decline in fair values remained modest being -0.6%. This again reflects the resilience of our mixed-use strategy and the stability it brings to our business. Our loan-to-value (LTV) slightly increased to 46.8% at the end of the third quarter. Strengthening the balance sheet continues to be one of our top priorities and we are taking steps to lower our LTV-ratios, including monitoring the disposal market and acting accordingly.

Operational performance

Footfall remained on a stable level after a recovery in late Q2 and early Q3. More importantly, tenant sales were strong as a result of 15% higher average purchase per customer in the third quarter. After Q3, total sales in our centers were 0.3% ahead of last year’s corresponding period. This reflects changes in consumer habits as people follow government recommendations and mainly visit with a clear intention to spend. Having said this, we see there are clear differences across tenant sectors. This highlights our tenant mix which is based on a large share of necessity tenants such as groceries, pharmacies, municipal and health services. Not only are these sectors and tenants doing well in this changed environment, but they also bring footfall to our centers which benefits our other tenants. We are pleased to see that leasing activity has been strong in 2020. As of Q3 we have  approximately 175,000 sq.m. of new leases commencing in 2020 compared to 113,000 sq.m. during corresponding period in 2019.

Densification/ Diversification

Even during the crisis, we have remained focused on our goal of urbanization/densification. We strongly believe in our mixed-use strategy and further diversifying our urban hubs. The majority of our assets are located in top cities with strong existing urbanization and direct connection to the most important transportation hubs. These areas continue to demonstrate significant demand for new residential and office space. Not only does this densification increase the number of people using the services of our centers, it also opens new opportunities for Citycon which already owns prime locations in these areas. Gaining additional building rights for approximately 500,000 sq.m. in our existing locations untaps value of approximately 200 MEUR with minimal capital investment over the next several years. Therefore, working pro-actively and closely with municipalities and progressing our zoning and permitting initiatives has continued to be a top priority for Citycon.

Citycon’s third quarter performance continued to show the stability of the portfolio. While our strategy and geographic positioning lend themselves to these results, that would not be possible without our team’s commitment to the success of the company. We expect challenging times to continue, but the past two quarters have provided the ultimate “stress test” for our strategy which, thus far, has proven successful. These results allow us to tighten our guidance towards the high end of the range previously communicated.

 

OUTLOOK FOR THE YEAR 2020 SPECIFIED

Citycon forecasts the 2020 direct operating profit to be in range EUR 178-185 million, EPRA EPS EUR 0.740-0.780 and adjusted EPRA EPS EUR 0.650-0.690

Previously

Direct operating profit MEUR 178-185 171-189
EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.740-0.780 0.710-0.810
Adjusted EPRA Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.650-0.690 0.610-0.710

The outlook assumes that there are no major changes in macroeconomic factors and that there will not be a second wave of COVID-19 with restrictions resulting in significant store closures. 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.

 

EVENTS AFTER THE REPORTING PERIOD

No material events after the reporting period.

 

AUDIOCAST

Citycon's investor, analyst and press conference call and live audiocasting will be arranged on Wednesday 4 November at 10 am EET. The audiocast can be participated by calling in and followed live on the following website: https://citycon.videosync.fi/2020-q3-results/register

Conference call numbers are:
Participants from Europe +44 3333 000 804        PIN: 77779031#
Participants from the US +1 6319 131 422          PIN: 77779031#

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


Helsinki, 3 November 2020
Citycon Oyj
Board of Directors


For further information, please contact:
Eero Sihvonen
Executive VP and CFO
Tel. +358 50 557 9137

eero.sihvonen@citycon.com

Laura Jauhiainen
Head of Investor Relations
Tel. +358 40 823 9497

laura.jauhiainen@citycon.com

Citycon is a leading owner, manager and developer of urban, grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic region, managing assets that total almost 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 (Baa3), Fitch (BBB-) and Standard & Poor's (BBB-). Citycon Oyj’s share is listed in Nasdaq Helsinki.


www.citycon.com

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