Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield: Reports H1-2022 Earnings| MENAFN.COM

Sunday, 07 August 2022 07:21 GMT

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield: Reports H1-2022 Earnings


(MENAFN- GlobeNewsWire - Nasdaq)

Paris, Amsterdam, July 28, 2022
Press release

UNIBAIL-RODAMCO-WESTFIELD REPORTS H1-2022 EARNINGS

Adjusted Recurring EPS of €4.95 – up +53.1% driven by the continued recovery across all business divisions

Q2 tenant sales exceeding pre-COVID levels

Strong leasing demand and reduced vacancy, as retailers continue to expand selectively at best locations, and corporations select high quality and sustainable office buildings

Further progress on comprehensive deleveraging plan – €1.0 Bn pro-forma IFRS net debt reduction

EBITDA up +48% year-on-year, thanks to the recovery of retail and C&E activity, resulting in a strong improvement of credit metrics

Strong liquidity and hedging position

2022 AREPS guidance increased from €8.20 - €8.40 to at least €8.90

H1-2022 in review:

  • Tenant sales exceeding 2019 levels in Q2 (105% of 2019 levels for the Group) ahead of expectations, with overall sales for H1 at 99% of 2019 levels, Continental Europe at 97%, UK at 91% and US at 106%
  • Continued retail vacancy reduction: 6.9% at Group level (FY-2021: 7.0%) including 9.7% in the UK (FY-2021: 10.6%), 10.4% in the US (FY-2021: 11.0%) and 4.0% in Continental Europe (FY-2021: 4.0%)
  • 1,201 letting deals signed with Minimum Guaranteed Rent (MGR) uplift of +11.8% on longer term deals (>36 months) – longer term deals represent 59% of deals signed (vs. 44% in H1-2021)
  • Rent collection at 96% (vs. 88% reported at FY-2021 and 73% reported in H1-2021)
  • Refinancing needs for the next 36-months secured with €12.0 Bn of cash and available facilities
  • Fully hedged1 against interest rate rises for the coming 5 years
  • 80% of €4.0 Bn European disposal target now signed or completed at a premium to last appraised values
  • Continued streamlining of US regional portfolio with the sale of Promenade development parcel
  • H1-2022 pro-forma IFRS Net Financial Debt reduced by -€1.0 Bn to €21.6 Bn, Net Debt to EBITDA improved from 16.6x in H1-2021 to 11.0x in H1-2022
  • 130 bps reduction in IFRS LTV to 42.0%, and 180 bps or 41.5% pro-forma for all signed disposals
  • Valuation increase thanks to positive FX impact and like-for-like shopping centre revaluation in Continental Europe
  • Successful delivery of Gaîté Montparnasse Office (Paris) and Westfield Topanga extension (Los Angeles region)
  • Launch of Lightwell office regeneration project (Paris region) with 80% pre-letting and 85% of construction cost secured
  • Improved 2022 AREPS guidance of at least €8.90 given the operational recovery of retail and C&E assets in a challenging macro-environment

Commenting on the results, Jean-Marie Tritant, Chief Executive Officer said :

“Our operational performance in H1-2022 was very strong, with tenant sales reaching pre-COVID levels earlier than expected in Continental Europe. We are seeing strong leasing demand, with retailers expanding with us, thanks to the quality of our assets, which are located in the best catchment areas, and have an affluent customer base. URW is well positioned to outperform and gain market share, as retailers accelerate their“drive to store” strategies. Against this backdrop, asset values have stabilised, and our credit metrics have significantly improved, in particular thanks to the net debt reduction and the increase in EBTIDA.
In Europe, we have now achieved 80% of our €4 billion disposal target. In the US, we continued to streamline our regional asset portfolio with the sale of the Promenade development parcel and are in active discussions on other regional assets. Given the quality and strong performance of our assets, we are confident in our ability to delever the company by executing on the radical reduction of our financial exposure to the US. We have maintained strict capital allocation, while continuing to deliver major development projects, and our hedging protects us against rising interest rates.
In the context of our operational recovery in this challenging macro-environment, we are increasing our 2022 AREPS guidance from €8.20 - €8.40 to at least €8.90.”

H1-2022 H1-2021 Growth Like-for-like growth2
Net Rental Income (in € Mn) 1,139 785 +45.0% +43.8%3
Shopping Centres 1,037 753 +37.7% +37.6%4
Offices & Others 34 32 +6.5% +28.0%
Convention & Exhibition 68 0 n.m. n.m.
EBITDA (in € Mn) 1,139 770 +48.0%
Recurring net result (in € Mn) 711 472 +50.5%
Recurring EPS (in €) 5.12 3.41 +50.4%
Adjusted Recurring EPS (in €) 4.95 3.24 +53.1%
June 30, 2022 Dec. 31, 2021 Growth Like-for-like growth
Proportionate portfolio valuation (in € Mn) 54,981 54,473 +0.9% -0.4%
EPRA Net Reinstatement Value (in € per stapled share) 163.40 159.60 +2.4%

Figures may not add up due to rounding

H1-2022 AREPS: €4.95

Reported AREPS amounted to €4.95, up +53.1% from H1-2021, an increase of +€1.71, mainly driven by the strong retail operation performance (including the end of COVID-19 rent relief, lower doubtful debtors with improved rent collection and higher variable income), the strong recovery of the C&E division, and project deliveries, partly offset by disposals. Rebasing both periods for the COVID-19 rent relief, the AREPS would have increased by +€0.80 per share (+18.1%).

OPERATING PERFORMANCE

Shopping Centres

Like-for-like shopping centre NRI was up +37.6%5 for the Group, and +49.7% in Continental Europe, +14.7% in the US and +34.8% in the UK. All regions benefitted from higher variable income and lower doubtful debtors as a result of better rent collection, and ongoing collection of 2021 rents. Performance in Continental Europe was also driven by the end of COVID-19 rent relief and indexation. The increase in the UK was driven by the end of COVID-19 rent relief. Excluding the impact of COVID-19 rent relief, the Group's shopping centre like-for-like NRI growth would be +12.8%.

Tenant sales6 and footfall7 continue to perform well with sales levels for the Group exceeding 2019 levels and continuing to outperform footfall, thanks to higher conversion rates and longer dwell times. Q1-2022 figures remained impacted by the restrictions in Europe, including a lockdown in The Netherlands, and severe restrictions for non-vaccinated persons in Austria and Germany. Q2 saw an improvement with footfall reaching 91% of 2019 levels for the Group, including 90% in Continental Europe, 91% in the UK and 92% in the US. In total, in H1-2022, footfall in Europe reached 85% of 2019 levels and 89% in the US.

In Q1-2022, the Group's European tenant sales reached 89% of 2019 levels. During Q2, tenant sales improved significantly and reached 102%, exceeding 2019 levels earlier than expected, with all European regions except the UK and Austria above 2019 levels. Overall, H1-2022 tenant sales reached 96% of 2019 levels, with Continental Europe and the UK at 97% and 91%, respectively. The performance of the main categories as a percentage of 2019 levels was 107% for Health and Beauty, 106% for Sports, 96% for F&B, 91% for Fashion and 85% for Entertainment.

In the US, tenant sales had already reached 2019 levels during the second half of 2021, and continue to consistently outperform pre-COVID levels. H1-2022 sales came to 106% of 2019 levels, driven by the performance of our Flagship8 assets at 114%. The strong recovery in the US continued to be broad-based with almost all categories performing above 2019 levels. Entertainment remains impacted at 77% but showing improvement from 72% in Q1 to 80% in Q2.

The performance seen in H1-2022 gives the Group a high degree of confidence that its Flagship destinations, which are located in the most desirable locations, with the best catchment areas and have an affluent customer base, are positioned to outperform and gain market share.

Rent collection 9 has improved since the full year and reached 96% for H1-2022 (vs. 88% at FY-2021 and 73% in H1-2021). It amounted to 96% in Continental Europe, 97% in the UK and 94% in the US. During 2022, the Group also collected €210.9 Mn10 in rents related to 2021, improving its 2021 collection rate from 88% to 92%, and leading to reversals of provisions in H1-2022 of €33.4 Mn.

URW signed 1,201 leases11 during H1-2022, broadly in line with H1-2021 and H1-2019. The proportion of long-term leases increased from 44% in H1-2021 to 59% in H1-2022 as conditions improved. Overall, the MGR uplift on all deals was +2.7%. For deals above 36 months MGR uplift came to +11.8% for the Group showcasing asset strength, with Continental Europe at +12.1%, the UK at +0.3% and the US at +23.1%.

The Group has benefitted from strong tenant sales, as illustrated by the performance in shopping centre SBR12, which increased from €28.0 Mn in H1-2021 (3.8% of NRI) to €55.5 Mn in H1-2022 (5.4% of NRI). In the US, the increase in shopping centre SBR was the largest from €16.0 Mn in H1-2021 (6.7% of NRI) to €31.3 Mn in H1-2022 (10.7% of NRI).

Vacancy for shopping centres at a Group level decreased to 6.9% at H1-2022, down from 8.9% at H1-2021 and 7.0% at FY-2021. In Continental Europe, vacancy was stable at 4.0%, despite the seasonal uptick that had been recorded during Q1. In the UK, vacancy also decreased from 10.6% at FY-2021 to 9.7% at H1-2022. In the US, the vacancy reduced to 10.4% at H1-2022 from 11.0% at FY-2021, while in Flagships13, it decreased from 9.3% to 8.3%.

Commercial Partnerships income came to €50.4 Mn in H1-2022, compared to €24.3 Mn in H1-2021 and €50.0 Mn in H1-2019. Europe amounted to €25.2 Mn (vs. €13.2 Mn in H1-2021 and €20.1 Mn in H1-2019) and the US to €25.3 Mn (vs. €11.1 Mn in H1-2021 and €29.9 Mn in H1-2019). The income of new Media, Brand & Data Partnerships division, which is included in the Commercial Partnerships scope and is expected to generate €75 Mn (at 100%) in annual net revenues by 2024 in Europe, amounted to €17.0 Mn in H1-2022.

Offices & Others

NRI increased by +6.5%, primarily as a result of the delivery of the Trinity office tower and the Gaîté Montparnasse Hotel and Offices, partly offset by the disposal of Solna Centrum and Les Villages 3, 4 and 6. On a like-for-like basis, it was +28.0%, with +55.9% in France thanks to leasing of Trinity, but -30.6% in the US due to the exposure to the San Francisco market where tech companies have been slower in returning to the office.

Following 2022 leasing activity, Trinity is currently 74% let. During the first half, the Group also signed a 9-year lease with Arkema for 25,100 sqm in the Lightwell office regeneration project, securing a pre-letting of 80% and 85%14 of the cost of construction. Furthermore, URW signed a lease with Shell on 8,023 sqm, representing 29% of the office buildings in Westfield Hamburg to be delivered in 2024.

Convention & Exhibition

Recurring NOI amounted to €94.5 Mn compared to -€1.5 Mn in H1-2021, and €80.6 Mn in H1-2018. In H1-2022, this includes a €25 Mn contribution from the French State, to compensate closure periods in earlier years.

In H1-2022, Viparis hosted 272 events (o/w 86 exhibitions, 33 congresses and 153 corporate events) vs. 69 events at the same period in 2021. As at June 30, 2022, signed and pre-booked events in Viparis venues for 2022 amounted to c. 103% of its expected 2022 rental income, and 89% of 201815 pre-bookings level for the year.

DELEVERAGING

In H1-2022, the Group continues to make deleveraging progress through disposals, control on CAPEX allocation and retaining earnings.

In Europe, URW completed in 2022 the disposal of Solna Centrum (Stockholm region), 2 residential buildings at Westfield Hamburg (Hamburg), a 45% interest in Westfield Carré Sénart (Paris region), Gera Arcaden (Gera), Almere Centrum (Amsterdam region) and Carré Sénart Shopping Parc (Paris region).

Furthermore, URW's partner in Aupark (Bratislava) exercised its call option for the acquisition of an additional 27% stake, which is expected to complete in August 2022. The Group also signed on July 21, 2022, an agreement for the sale of Villeneuve 2 (Lille region), which is expected to close in September 2022.

The disposals completed or signed in 2022, amounted to €1.2 Bn, representing an average NIY of 5.5% and a premium to the last unaffected appraisal of +2.9%.

Upon the closing of these transactions, URW will have completed €3.2 Bn, representing 80% of its €4.0 Bn European disposal programme, at an average NIY of 4.9% and a premium to the last unaffected appraisal of +5.1%. A number of discussions for disposals are ongoing to secure the remainder of the European disposal programme.

URW continued to streamline its US portfolio during 2022, with the sale of the Promenade development parcel in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles for a sale price of $150 Mn (at 100%, URW share 55%), which reflected a +60% premium to the latest appraisal. The company is in active discussions on other regional assets.

Given the quality and strong performance of the Group's Flagship assets, we are confident in our ability to delever the company by executing on the radical reduction of our financial exposure to the US.

The Total Investment Cost (TIC)16 of URW's development pipeline has remained overall stable compared to December 31, 2021, at €3.3 Bn, mainly as a result of H1-2021 successful deliveries, offset by cost increases and the addition of the House of Fraser repurposing project at Westfield London, which will turn the building into a premium coworking space by The Ministry, including a multi-studio fitness offer, a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Committed projects amount to €2.5 Bn, of which €1.3 Bn has already been invested. The two main projects are mixed used developments in Paris (Gaîté Montparnasse) and Hamburg (Westfield Hamburg). Following the successful pre-letting of 80% of the Lightwell office regeneration, and 85% of the construction secured, the project has now moved from the controlled to the committed pipeline.

DELIVERIES

In H1-2022, the Group delivered the Westfield Topanga extension (Los Angeles region) which will open in phases and the Gaîté Montparnasse office (Paris), representing a total of c. 30,000 sqm and a TIC of €0.2 Bn. The average letting17 of these deliveries stands at 88%.

In H2-2022, URW will deliver Les Ateliers Gaîté,“Rue de la Boucle” project at Westfield Forum des Halles and Porte de Paris at Westfield Les 4 Temps, representing a total of c. 31,000 sqm and TIC of €0.3 Bn. The average pre-letting18 of these projects stands at 82%.

VALUATION

The proportionate Gross Market Value (GMV) of the Group's assets as at June 30, 2022, increased by +0.9% to €55.0 Bn from €54.5 Bn as at December 31, 2021, mainly as a result of positive FX moves (+€0.9 Bn), CAPEX, acquisitions and transfers (+€0.4 Bn), partly offset by disposals (-€0.4 Bn) and revaluation of non like-for-like assets & shares (-€0.2 Bn). In H1-2022, the like-for-like shopping centres valuation was slightly up for Continental Europe (+0.8%), while the UK (-1.4%) and the US (-3.1%) were down, resulting in -0.3% for the Group overall.

On the back of the slight increase in valuation, the EPRA Net Reinstatement Value per share came to €163.40 as at June 30, 2022, up +€3.80 (+2.4%) compared to December 31, 2021, mainly driven by the retained recurring results and positive FX moves, partly offset by negative revaluations. The EPRA Net Disposal Value increased to €152.90 on the back of the mark-to-market of the debt and financial instruments resulting from the steep increase in rates and spreads in H1-2022.

FINANCING

Driven by the progress on disposals and the retained cash flow, the IFRS net financial debt decreased from €22.6 Bn to €22.1 Bn between December 31, 2021, and June 30, 2022. Pro forma for the disposals of Gera Arcaden, Almere Centrum and Carré Sénart Shopping Parc, which have been cashed-in, and the signed disposals of an additional 27% interest in Aupark and Villeneuve 2, this figure will decline further to €21.6 Bn. The Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio decreased from 43.3% to 42.0% (45.8% including the hybrid), and 41.5% pro-forma (45.3% including the hybrid) for the disposal already signed but not closed at June 30, 2022.

The Group's average cost of debt remained stable at 2.0%, representing a blended 1.5% for EUR19 debt and 3.8% for USD and GBP debt.

The Group's average debt maturity remained roughly stable at 8.5 years. Following the operational recovery seen in H1, URW's credit metrics have improved. The Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR) stood at 4.5x (vs. 2.9x at H1-2021), while the Funds from Operations to Net Financial Debt (FFO / NFD) ratio came to 7.5% (vs. 4.3% at H1-2021). The Net Debt to EBITDA came down from 16.6x in H1-2021 to 11.0x in H1-2022.

With cash and available facilities of €12.0 Bn, the Group has fully secured its refinancing needs for the 36 months. Taking into account the expected disposal proceeds of URW's deleveraging programme, the Group's debt is fully hedged for the coming 5 years, positioning URW well in the current rising interest rate environment.

2022 GUIDANCE

Based on the operational recovery achieved in H1-2022 notwithstanding a challenging macro-economic environment, the one-offs received during the period, and hedging which will limit the increase in URW's financial expenses, the Group increases its 2022 AREPS guidance from €8.20 - €8.40 to at least €8.90.

Tenant sales exceeding 2019 levels, significant leasing demand for shopping centres and offices, and the recovery of C&E activity, all demonstrate the appeal of the Group's assets.

Given the current macro-economic environment, this updated guidance does not fully reflect the earlier than expected sales recovery experienced in Q2-2022 for Continental Europe and current level of US sales, or further improvements in rent collection. The Group also assumes no major COVID-19 or energy-related restrictions, nor major disruption to the macro-economic environment.

FINANCIAL SCHEDULE

The next financial events on the Group's calendar will be:
October 26, 2022: Q3 trading update

February 9, 2023: FY-2022 results

For further information, please contact:

Investor Relations
Maarten Otte
+33 7 63 86 88 78

Media Relations
UK/Global:
Cornelia Schnepf – Finelk
+44 7387 108 998

United States:
Molly Morse – Kekst CNC
+ 1 212 521 4826

France:
Nathalie Feld – Image7
+33 6 30 47 18 37

About Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is a dynamic global developer and operator of Flagship Destinations, with a portfolio valued at €55.0 Bn as at June 30, 2022, of which 87% in retail, 6% in offices, 5% in convention & exhibition venues and 2% in services. Currently, the Group owns and operates 82 shopping centres, including 53 Flagships in the most dynamic cities in Europe and the United States. Present on two continents and in 12 countries, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield provides a unique platform for retailers and brand events and offers an exceptional and constantly renewed experience for customers.
With the support of its 2,700 professionals and an unparalleled track-record and know-how, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is ideally positioned to generate superior value and develop world-class projects.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield distinguishes itself by its Better Places 2030 agenda, that sets its ambition to create better places that respect the highest environmental standards and contribute to better cities.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield stapled shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Paris (Euronext ticker: URW), with a secondary listing in Australia through Chess Depositary Interests. The Group benefits from a BBB+ rating from Standard & Poor's and from a Baa2 rating from Moody's.

For more information, please visit
Visit our Media Library at
Follow the Group updates on Twitter @urw_group , LinkedIn @Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Instagram @urw_group


1 Taking into account disposals proceeds of the communicated deleveraging plan.

2 Like-for-like NRI: Net Rental Income excluding acquisitions, divestments, transfers to and from pipeline (extensions, brownfields or redevelopment of an asset when operations are stopped to enable works), all other changes resulting in any change to square metres and currency exchange rate differences in the periods analysed.
3 Including airports.
4 Excluding airports.
5 Excluding airports.

6 Tenant sales for all centres (except The Netherlands) in operation, including extensions of existing assets, but excluding deliveries of new brownfield projects, newly acquired assets and assets under heavy refurbishment (Ursynow, Westfield La Part-Dieu, Les Ateliers Gaîté, CNIT, Gropius Passagen, Garbera and Westfield Valley Fair). Excludes Zlote Tarasy as this centre is not managed by URW. Excludes Carrousel du Louvre. Excludes Auto category for Europe and Auto and Department Stores for the US.
7 Footfall for all centres in operation, including extensions of existing assets, but excluding deliveries of new brownfield projects, newly acquired assets and assets under heavy refurbishment (Ursynow, Westfield La Part-Dieu, Les Ateliers Gaîté, CNIT, Gropius Passagen, Garbera, Westfield Mall of the Netherlands and Westfield Valley Fair). Excludes Carrousel du Louvre. Excludes Zlote Tarasy as this centre is not managed by URW. For the US, footfall only includes the 23 centres for which at least one year of comparable data is available.
8 Excluding Central Business District assets (Westfield San Francisco Centre and Westfield World Trade Center).
9 Retail only, assets at 100%. MGR + CAM in the US, as at July 21.
10 At 100%.
11 All letting figures exclude deals <12 months.
12 Excluding airports.
13 Excluding Central Business District assets (Westfield San Francisco Centre and Westfield World Trade Center).
14 Refurbishment costs excluding fees & contingencies.
15 Last comparable year.

16 URW Total Investment Cost (TIC) equals 100% TIC multiplied by URW's percentage stake in the project, adjusted by specific own costs and income, if any. 100% TIC is expressed in value at completion. It equals the sum of: (i) all capital expenditures from the start of the project to the completion date and includes: land costs, construction costs, study costs, design costs, technical fees, tenant fitting-out costs paid for by the Group, letting fees and related costs, eviction costs and vacancy costs for renovations or redevelopments of standing assets; and (ii) opening marketing expenses. It excludes: (i) step rents and rent-free periods; (ii) capitalized financial interests; (iii) overhead costs; (iv) early or lost Net Rental Income; and (v) IFRS adjustments. 
17 GLA signed, all agreed to be signed and financials agreed.
18 GLA signed, all agreed to be signed and financials agreed.
19 Including SEK.


Attachment

  • 2022 Half-year Results



Attachments 2022 Half-year Results...

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