Strong development of the Züblin Immobilien Group: In the first half of its 2006/2007 fiscal year, ended 30 September 2006, the international real estate group increased its net income by 88%, from CHF 11.3 million up to CHF 21.3 million. This translates into an earnings per share of CHF 0.50 (CHF 0.20). The strong result was achieved despite the negative influence of non-recurring costs in Germany. The primary factors contributing to earnings were the increase in valuations of the French real estate portfolio, a significant gain from the sale of property in Belgium, and tax benefits in Germany and France.
The Züblin Immobilien Group generated net income of CHF 21.3 million, or CHF 0.50 per share, in the first half of fiscal year 2006/2007. Earnings this period were strongly influenced by the appreciation of the real estate portfolio in France, combined with a significant gain from the sale of property in Belgium and tax-related benefits in Germany and France. Excluding the effect of non-recurring charges stemming from the discontinuation of outsourcing activities in Germany, the semi-annual result would have been higher by CHF 2.4 million. As a result of the new organization in France subsequent to the March 2006 IPO, administrative expenses also rose during the period.
Return on Equity at 11.0%The company generated an annualized return on equity of 11.0%. Fully diluted Net Asset Value (NAV) per share as of 30 September 2006, after pay-out of the CHF 0.50 par value reduction, was CHF 10.54, up from CHF 10.52 at the end of March 2006.
Valuation increase in the investment portfolio
Reversing previous trends, property values as a whole increased by CHF 3.9 million, driven by robust increases in the French portfolio. In the German portfolio, valuations were virtually unchanged, with decreases in the office portfolio compensated by gains on the retail side. In the Benelux and Switzerland, valuations were slightly below March 2006 values.
Significant gain from property sale in Belgium
Züblin recorded CHF 4.2 million in gains from property sales in the period, largely from the sale of its property company, Gilts Investments SA, in Brussels, for CHF 4.0 million above its 31 March 2006 valuation.
Non-recurring operating expenses
Real estate expenses rose during the period, largely due to non-recurring costs of roughly CHF 2.4 million. These costs stem from the discontinuation of outsourcing activities in Germany, and include provisions for overdue receivables. Additionally, due to continued vacancies in the office portfolio, non-recoverable service charges also burdened results. Administrative costs also rose in the period following the establishment of the company's organization in France.
Tax benefits in Germany and France
Benefits from favorable tax rulings in Germany of roughly CHF 3.7 million more than offset increases in deferred taxes during the period of CHF 2.1 million, resulting in an overall tax benefit of CHF 1.6 million in the period. Additionally, as a result of the election of SIIC (REIT) status in France, the company's subsidiary, Züblin Immobilière France SA, is no longer required to pay taxes on the results of its real estate related activities. The company is, however, obligated to pay an exit tax of EUR 18.4 million over a period of four years. This obligation has been recorded at its present value of EUR 16.1 million, resulting in a financial gain in the period of EUR 2.3 million, or CHF 3.6 million.
Further increase in equity ratio
The company's equity ratio increased to 26.8%, up from 26.4% at 31 March 2006. Assuming full conversion of all outstanding convertible securities, the equity ratio would be 31.9% compared with 31.5% at 31 March 2006.
Exercise of Redeemable Warrants in France
Züblin Immobilien Holding AG announced on 10 November 2006 that it would exercise its equity warrants redeemable in cash (BSAR) related to its subsidiary, Züblin Immobilière France, before the end of November 2006. This translates into a cash payment of EUR 12.4 million and as