Unibail's 2005 first-half results exceeds targets (FR)

Unibail's Board of Directors convened on 21 July 2005 to approve the company's consolidated accounts for the first-half 2005, presented from now on in accordance with IFRS. Some highlights include: net rental income €203 million (-13.3% compared to same period 2004), net operating profit € 786 million (+75.5%), net profit (group share) € 621 million (+77.4%).

Business performance in first-half 2005
First-half results reflect: the change in Unibail's scope of consolidation, following the large-scale disposal of office properties in 2004; and the exceptional payout of over €1 billion in January 2005, equating to one quarter of NNNAV, or €23 per share. In addition, the IFRS income statement now includes the valuation movements of the property portfolio.

Against this background, growth in like-for-like net rents has become even more relevant as a key performance indicator. This figure was up almost about 8% year-on-year reflecting a strong letting performance and Unibail's sound strategic positioning focused on a limited number of large prime properties offering a high value creation potential.

As a result, the anticipated decrease in recurring earnings per share (EPS), announced and explained in February 2005, amounted to only 15.9% in first-half 2005 compared to first-half 2004 and 2% compared to second-half 2004.

After taking into account the change in asset and liability values (under IAS 39 and 40), net profit (Group share) of the first-half of the year increased sharply to €621 million, i.e. €13.7 per share.

Triple Net Asset Value (NAV)
The appraised value of the property portfolio, including transfer taxes, amounted to €8,020 million at end-June 2005, compared to €6,974 million at year-end 2004. Net of capital expenditures, the value of Unibail's portfolio rose by 8.5% in first-half 2005 on a like-for-like basis. In addition to generally favorable market conditions for large commercial properties, this performance was mainly driven by an increase in revenues together with an improvement in their predictability.

Fully-diluted 'triple net liquidation' NAV per share amounted to €78.6 at end-June 2005, versus €89.7 at year-end 2004, down 12.4%. After adjusting for the exceptional payout of €23 per share, this figure was up 17.8% for first-half 2005.

Development and outlook
Unibail maintains its value creation strategy by focusing on high value-added transactions, optimizing the long-term yield on its major property assets, and continuing to divest its mature assets.

During the first half, Unibail signed a partnership agreement with Bail Investissement to acquire a controlling interest in two shopping centers: Rennes Alma and Vélizy Usiness Center. Unibail was also selected by the City of Levallois for a major mixed office/retail development scheme covering over 80,000 m². This project will join the Group's existing pipeline of high value-added projects, including Capital 8, Phase II of Carré Sénart, Les Quatre Temps extension, Les Passage de l'Etoile in Strasbourg, Lyon Confluence, Docks de Rouen, Versailles Chantiers and "Aéroville" at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Against a strong background of business activity, the announced target of a decrease of no more than 15% in recurring EPS for the full year 2005 should be reached. As for 2006, Unibail aims for double-digit growth of this key indicator.

During the first-half 2005, Unibail distributed €24.80 per share to shareholders, comprising the exceptional payout of January 2005 and two quarterly interim dividends. On 12 July 2005, Unibail paid out €1.05 per share, i.e. the balance of the dividend for 2004 amounting to €3.75.

The target increase in ordinary dividend of at least 5% per year has been confirmed, with payment on a quarterly basis.

Source: Unibail

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