Sonae Sierras profits rise 24% in the first half of 2005 (PT)

In the first half of 2005 Sonae Sierra's Net Consolidated Profit(after minority holdings) were €40 million, which is a 24% rise compared to the same period in 2004.

At the end of the first half of this year, Sonae Sierra's Direct Profits were €27.31 million. That figure is an improvement of 48%, compared to the first six months of last year. Indirect Profits rose to €45.31 million, a 44% increase compared to the same period in 2004. The growth is mainly attributable to a rise in the value of investment properties, caused by an overall fall in yields in Portugal and Spain.

EBITDA rose by 22.6% to €56.66 million, which was helped by the opening of new centers in 2004 and 2005, and an increase in earnings from rentals in Brazil.

The company's real estate fixed assets were independently valued. Their Open Market Value (OMV) as at 30 June 2005 was €3,646 million, compared to €3,341 million as at 31 December 2004. Of that, the part controlled by Sonae Sierra amounts to €2,236 million (against €1,908 million as at 31 December 2004 – a 17% rise). On a like-for-like basis, the company's value grew by 5%.

NAV per share as at 30 June 2005 for property attributable to Sonae Sierra stood at €35.28, compared to €32.60 as at 31 December 2004, a rise of 8%.

With regard to new projects, during the period we opened the Plaza Éboli in March, Sonae Sierra's 11th shopping center in Spain, involving an investment of €56.1 million, in partnership with the Eroski Group. Sonae Sierra also entered into an agreement with Mall Inversiones for a new shopping and leisure center (Las Medulas) in Ponferrada, Spain, which will call for an investment of about €110 million.

Also, in April the company paid €99.3 million to acquire the Eroski Group's holdings in the Dos Mares (Múrcia), Luz del Tajo (Toledo), Plaza Éboli (Madrid) and Avenida M40 (Madrid) shopping and leisure centers. This move was provided in agreements entered into by the two companies. In April, the Sierra Fund also bought two shopping centers in Italy: Valecenter (Marcon, Venice) and Airone (Monselice, Padua).

Additionally, a ceremony was held to hand over keys to tenants at the Mediterranean Cosmos in Thessalonika, Greece's first leisure and shopping center, which opens on 19 October. A similar ceremony was held at LoureShopping, in Loures, Portugal, itself due to open on 27 October.

Other highlights of the company's business during the period included a change of name from Sonae Imobiliária to Sonae Sierra, this global operation being part of the company's international expansion strategy. In addition, the company published its first corporate responsibility report.

Source: Sonae Sierra

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