Dr. Wolfgang Zürcher, Chairman
Letter to our shareholders
Roland Friederich, CFO
Ladies and Gentlemen
Züblin Immobilien Holding AG (Züblin) closes the first six months of 2019/20 with a profit of CHF 4.4 million. This corresponds to earnings per share of CHF 1.33 as compared with CHF 0.56 in the previous year. EBIT before changes in market value increased by CHF 1.0 million to CHF 2.7 million as compared to the first half of the previous year. After investments of CHF 16.5 million, the balance sheet value of the real estate portfolio increased by CHF 19.4 million to CHF 220.3 million. The company continues to focus on reducing costs and identifying suitable growth opportunities.
Positive First Half of 2019/20
The first six months of the 2019/20 financial year showed a positive development and a profit of CHF 4.4 million (previous year CHF 1.8 million). The increased net operating income of CHF 4.3 million (+15.3%) includes rental income from the condominium share in Zurich-Oerlikon acquired in April 2019. Cost savings in personnel and administrative expenses (- CHF 0.3 million) and revaluations of investment properties led to a profit of CHF 5.6 million before financial expenses and income taxes (EBIT). This corresponds to an increase of CHF 2.9 million (+107%) over the same period last year. Earnings per share for the first six months of the 2019/20 financial year amounted to CHF 1.33 as at 30 September 2019.
Good Development of the Real Estate Portfolio
The total value of the six Swiss properties increased by CHF 19.4 million to CHF 220.3 million during the reporting period. On the one hand, the increase in value was due to the new acquisition; on the other hand, the continued good market environment with strong demand for office properties with good infrastructure in good locations led to a higher valuation of the Züblin portfolio.
The letting of 811m2 in the Berne property Arco West and the fully let new acquisition in Zurich-Oerlikon led to a reduction in the vacancy rate from 10.0% to 7.4%. The weighted average lease term (WALT) decreased slightly from 4.3 to 4.0 years.
With the acquisition of the condominium share in spring 2019, Züblin was able to take advantage of an attractive investment opportunity. In addition, measures to optimize the portfolio should help keeping the available space attractive for tenants and potential tenants.
Solid Financial Position Secures Further Growth
As of 30 September 2019, the company's cash and cash equivalents amounted to CHF 3.0 million. The real estate portfolio is financed by a long-term revolving credit facility of CHF 118 million, of which only a partial amount of CHF 73 million has been drawn down. This results in a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 33% for the portfolio.
The Annual General Meeting of 18 June 2019 approved a dividend of CHF 1 per registered share from capital reserves. This corresponds to a distribution yield of 4.3% based on the share price on 31 March 2019.
The new 2019/20 financial year started with changes in both the company’s Board and Management. As successor to the resigning Chairman and CEO, Dr. Iosif Bakaleynik, the Annual General Meeting elected Dr. Wolfgang Zürcher as the new Chairman of Züblin. Operational responsibility was transferred to the previous Chief Financial Officer, Roland Friederich, who has also been the CEO since 15 July 2019. The reduction of the Board of Directors to three members and the streamlining of management capacity, together with adjustments to the infrastructure, will help to further reduce administrative costs in the current financial year. Targeted search should help to source investment opportunities for further expansion of the portfolio.
In the second half of 2019/20, the focus will be on growth through further real estate acquisitions, additional cost savings and the aim of creating a cost/income situation that is appropriate for today's Züblin.
Dr. Wolfgang Zürcher
CEO / CFO