Despite a severe slackening of economic growth, VastNed Retail has achieved an increase of the direct investment result per share. This result (= cash profit) increased by 3.4% from Euro 3.88 in 2000 to Euro 4.01 in 2001.
An (optional) dividend of Euro 4.01 per share will be put to the General Meeting of Shareholders on April 17; either entirely in cash or partly in cash and partly in shares to the charge of the share premium reserve.
The objectives for 2001 have been fully realised, i.e. expansion of the property portfolio in France and Spain, sale of retail properties in the Netherlands and keeping the capital ratios at the same level. Good progress has been made in achieving a better balance in the spreading of the property portfolio over the eurocountries in which VastNed operates.
For 2002 (for the 15th consecutive year), an increase in the direct investment result per share is being anticipated.
In 2001 a gross rental income of Euro 111.2 million was realised, an increase of 8.5% compared to 2000 (Euro 102.5 million). This increase was due to acquisitions, indexations and rent adjustments.
The property portfolio was valued on balance Euro 7.9 million higher.
Operational expenses amounted to 13.3% of gross rental income (2000: 12.4%). General costs decreased to 1.2 % of gross rental income. In 2000, this entry was charged with one-off higher automation costs and costs for radio commercials.
The interest charges increased due to the expansions from Euro 25.3 million to Euro 29.1 million in 2001.
Net asset value per share, including the direct investment result, at the end of 2001 amounted to Euro 49.99 (2000: Euro 49.89).
The property portfolio
The circulation of the Dutch property portfolio, announced in the spring of 2001, was realised with the sale of 34 retail properties for Euro 35.2 million in total. These sales were realised at a price well exceeding the last valuation, and at an average initial yield of approximately 8.3%. The most important developments took place in Spain and France. In Spain, the joint venture with Centros Shopping SA entered into in 1999 was dissolved, while at the same time the remaining 50% shareholding interest was acquired. As a result, VastNed Retail acquired full possession of four shopping centres, i.e. Las Rosas in San Blas, El Bulevar in Getafe, Atalayas in Murcia and El Mirador in Burgos. The average gross initial yield came to approximately 7.8%.
Also, a large-scale retail property under construction in Castellon de la Plana was acquired as well as an inner city property at a top location in Leon. The total investment concerned amounted to approximately Euro 60.7 million.
In November 2001, the first phase of the large-scale retail and leisure centre â€˜Parque Vista Hermosaâ€™ in Alicante opened its doors. In the middle of 2002 the entire centre will be in use.
In France, 33 inner city shops in a number of medium-sized cities were acquired as well as part of the shopping centre Beaubreuil in Limoges. The total investment came to Euro 26 million, with a gross initial yield of 7.8%, rising to 8.3% in 2002 and 2003. The shops are largely let to national and international retail chains. In addition, in a suburb of Paris in the beginning of the year a large-scale shopping centre under construction was acquired (8.075 m2), which was completed in fully let state in November. This concerned an investment of Euro 13.0 million with a gross initial yield of 7.9%.
The geographical spreading over the countries of the total invested capital as per December 31, 2001 was as follows:
At the end of 2001, VastNed Retail had approximately 866,000m2 of retail space in its possession. The vacancy in the property portfolio slightly fell to approximately 2.5% (2000: approximately 2.8%).
Outlook for 2002
It is generally assumed that the economy of the eurocountries will be able to pick up in the