For the first three months of 2004, GECINA generated €114.7 million in consolidated rental income, down 12.9% compared with Q1 2003, reflecting the impact of the 1.5 billion euro asset disposal program rolled out over 2003. Excluding property for sale and on a like-for-like basis, rental income was up 2.3% in Q1 2004 compared with the same period last year.
Commercial activity driving growth
In Q1 2004, rental income from the commercial business totaled €64.6 million, representing 56.3% of the Group’s rental business over the period. Excluding property for sale and on a constant structural basis, GECINA recorded a 2.7% rise in rent on commercial assets. The average rent on new leases, which concerned a total of 6,377 sq.m in Q1 2004, was up 6.1% on the average rent on old leases. In a sluggish rental market, the impact of the transactions finalized at the end of 2003 and the dynamic trend for small and medium-sized property rentals enabled the Group to achieve a significant improvement in its financial occupancy rate for commercial assets in operation, up to 96.1% in March 2004 compared with 94.9% last December.
Tough residential business
Rental income from the residential business came to €50.1 million in Q1 2004, representing 43.7% of the Group’s rental income. Over the period, rent rose 1.8% excluding property for sale and on a constant structural basis.
Rents have stabilized across the market, reflecting a relaxation of rental pressure on the residential market driven by falling pressure from demand. Over the first quarter, the average rent on new leases achieved by GECINA came to €17.1 per square meter per month for Paris, €18.8 per square meter per month for Haussmann-type apartments in Paris, and €12.1 per square meter per month for the Greater Paris Region. These rents were however higher than the average rents paid by older tenants, up 8.0% on in Paris, 11.9% on Haussmann-type properties in Paris, and 4.4% for the Greater Paris Region.
In total, 549 of the Group’s apartments changed tenants over Q1 2004, representing a surface area of 33,694 sq.m. and an annualized turnover rate of 14.2%. Despite it taking longer on average to re-let properties (nearly 20 days), the financial occupancy rate remained stable: 97.0% in March 2004.
Treasury stock up to 5.83% of Gecina share capital
On May 7, GECINA announced that it had passed the threshold of 5% of its share capital further to the acquisition of treasury stock in line with its share buyback program. As such, the Group now has 3,381,838 GECINA shares, representing 5.83% of the total share capital (58,038,246 shares).