Profit per share rose by 12% to EUR5.45 (2002: EUR 4,86). With effect from 2000, costs relating to asset management are no longer charged to the indirect investment result. This modification enhances the transparency of the cost structure and improves the quality of the profit figure. Under the old accounting methodology the profit per share would have been EUR 1.4 mln or EUR 0.08 per share higher. The profit increase of EUR 11.1 mln is mainly the result of the addition of new properties to the investment portfolio and increases in rental income. Interest charges remained stable, despite the expansion of the portfolio. Favourable currency movements had a modestly positive effect on net profit, amounting to EUR 0.2 mln.
ShareholdersÂ' equity and net asset value
The indirect investment result for 2001 amounted to EUR 17.8 mln, comprising EUR 6.2 mln from positive property re-valuations, EUR 13.8 mln from currency movements, EUR 1.7 mln from the disposal of property and EUR - 3.9 mln from movements in other items on the balance sheet. Net asset value per share after deduction of the proposed cash dividend rose by 3.9% to EUR 63.45 (2000: EUR 61.09). ShareholdersÂ' equity, net of the proposed dividend, stood at EUR 1,130.0 mln at the end of 2001, equivalent to 58.5% of total liabilities including commitments arising from development projects (2000: 58.5%). Issued shareholdersÂ' capital was unchanged over the year. Favourable currency movements and upward property re-valuations contributed modestly to the growth of shareholdersÂ' equity. In January 2002 the acquisition of the ItÃ¤keskus shopping centre in Helsinki resulted in the issue of new shares. ShareholdersÂ' equity was boosted by EUR 130.7 mln through the issue of 1.935.000 ordinary shares on January 23rd 2002 priced at net asset value, bringing shareholdersÂ' equity as a percentage of total liabilities to 55.6% after the acquisition of the Finnish property.
The composition and distribution of the portfolio did not change materially in the course of 2001. A number of smaller properties in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands were sold for a total sum of EUR 14.7 mln. In Belgium agreement was reached for the acquisition on a turnkey basis of an industrial building of 21,700 mÂ² and in Spain a turnkey agreement has been signed in respect of an industrial building of 36,800mÂ² in Rivas, near Madrid. During the year under review new properties in Belgium (3) and France (1) were added to the investment portfolio.
During the year, investments in properties in the investment portfolio amounted to EUR 17.8 mln and EUR 51.6 mln was invested in the development portfolio. The investment portfolio underwent an upward revaluation of 1.3% in local currencies. The average occupancy rate in 2001 amounted to 97.1% (2000: 94.9%). At the end of 2001 the value of the investment portfolio was EUR 1,623,2 mln. The development portfolio was valued at EUR 249.3 mln at December 31st, 2001. It is expected that 7 properties will be transferred from the development portfolio to the investment portfolio during 2002. WereldhaveÂ's interest in the investment value of these projects amounts to EUR 153.7 mln.
A cash dividend of EUR 4.10 per share will be proposed to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, a 6.5% increase compared to the previous year. A dividend of EUR 4.10 indicates a pay-out ratio of 75% of commercial profits.
The policy of diversification (both geographically and by type of property) provides a large degree of protection against fluctuations in demand for real estate, whilst the policy of portfolio renewal leads to a continuing growth in profit per share. In view of the composition of the portfolio and the addition of the ItÃ¤keskus shopping centre, Wereldhave forecast that, assuming stable currency rates, there will be another clear increase (between 7% and 12%) in profit per share in 2002.