Rodamco Europe achieved solid financial results in 2004. In line with expectations, direct result after tax increased 7.4% to â¬321 million. This increase is due to 9.5% growth in gross rental income, primarily from acquisitions and pipeline projects that came into operation. Direct result after tax per share increased to â¬3.58 per share.
Net Asset Value per share increased 3.7% to â¬50.12. A total dividend of â¬3.05 (2003: â¬2.85) is proposed for 2004, of which â¬1.15 (2003: â¬1.10) has already been paid as an interim dividend. The positive trend in revaluation of the Rodamco Europe portfolio continued, resulting in a revaluation result before tax of â¬107 million.
CEO Maarten Hulshoff: âRodamco Europe continues to produce solid and consistent growth despite challenging market conditions in our key markets. In a year in which the property investment market in general and the retail sector in particular experienced strong investor demand, we have seen that competition for attractive properties has grown. In this environment, Rodamco Europe has pursued its strategy of cherry-picking, focusing on selective investments of high quality retail properties in dominant
locations throughout its key markets. The quality of our investment portfolio ensures that occupancy levels remain high and that rental income grows, even at a time when consumer confidence is low and negatively affecting retailers. Although we have a sound financial structure and ample resources available, we will continue to be very selective in 2005 and remain focused on retail properties in dominant positions in our
home markets - The Netherlands, Sweden, France and Spain, and our markets in Central Europe. Overall, we remain confident for the future, in which Rodamco Europe stands to benefit from its â¬1 bn pipeline projects largely coming into operation during 2005 and 2006.â
Q4: October â" December 2004
Continuing a rising line throughout each quarter of 2004, direct result after tax was up by 2.7% to â¬76 million in Q4 (Q4 2003: â¬74 million). Growth of net rental income was 7.3% at â¬117 million during Q4 2004. Operating costs increased slightly more by 10.5% to â¬21 million in line with expectations after relatively lower operating costs in the Q3 2004 results.
Net profit increased to â¬117 million during Q4 2004, primarily through revaluation results in the retail portfolio. In Q4 2004, fair value revaluations of retail properties rose by â¬45 million. Retail fair value revaluations in all home markets were positive: the Netherlands (â¬5 million), Spain (â¬16 million), Scandinavia (â¬18 million), France (â¬1 million) and Central Europe (â¬7 million). A write-down of â¬2 million on retail investments was recorded for Germany. Revaluation of pipeline project investments was â¬1 million in Q4 2004.
Net financing costs were 29.2% higher at â¬31 million in Q4 2004. This was due to the fixed rate bond issue at 1 October 2004 and one-off charges amongst others relating to the cancellation of a number of swaps.
Financial Performance 2004
Net rental income increased 9.5% YoY to â¬463 million. Gross rental income also increased 9.5% to â¬544 million (2003: â¬497 million). The increase in gross rental income is primarily a result of both first-time full year rental income from acquisitions during 2003 and pipeline projects coming into operation. Donauzentrum in Vienna, Mokotow in Warsaw and TyresÃ¶ in Stockholm, all acquired in 2003, contributing around â¬35 million. Pipeline projects coming into operations generated a positive contribution of approximately â¬12 million during 2004. This includes the Dutch shopping centers Piazza (Eindhoven) and Carnisse Veste (Barendrecht).
Rent increases, especially through renewals and indexations, contributed a further â¬7 million. This growth was partially offset by the effect of divestments, primarily office disposals, with a total negative effect of â¬10 million on rental income in 2004 and some one-off items in Hungary and Germany.