letter to our shareholders
LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS
Ladies and Gentlemen
Züblin can look back on a positive first half of financial year 2022/23 to 30 September 2022. Successful lettings, a further reduction in administrative costs and the increase in the portfolio value by 0.7% or CHF 1.6 million contributed to a good result for the first six months of the year. The company reported net profit of CHF 3.4 million, up 70% on the prior-year period, or CHF 1.02 per share. Despite the challenging economic environment due to geopolitical influences and rising interest rates, the outlook for Züblinʼs portfolio in the second half of the 2022/23 financial year remains positive thanks to the high quality of its locations and tenants.
Positive operating result at the half-year mark
The main financial indicators have all moved in the right direction in financial year 2022/23. Profit before changes in market value was CHF 2.1 million, up around 30% on CHF 1.6 million in the prior-year period. This was mainly due to successful lettings last year, which boosted net operating income by around 8% to CHF 4.1 million, as well as a 13% reduction in administrative costs as a result of personnel changes in the prior year.
The market value of the portfolio was revalued upwards by CHF 1.3 million (previous year: CHF 0.5 million). Despite the rise in interest rates, the persistently strong sellerʼs market supported the low yield expectations of investors and thus also the increase in market value. The net rental income yield of 3.7% (previous year: 3.8%) remains at an attractive level.
Züblin ended the first half of the year with a net profit of CHF 3.4 million, up 70% on the prior-year period. Return on equity climbed from 3.0% in the previous year to 5.0%. The net profit for the first half of the year corresponds to earnings per share of CHF 1.02 (previous year CHF 0.61).
The portfolio – space marketed successfully
The value of the Züblin portfolio rose slightly by 0.7% from CHF 225.1 million to CHF 226.7 million during the reporting period. Annualized rental income amounted to CHF 8.9 million (31.03.2022: CHF 9.1 million). As the rental contracts for office space are mostly indexed, rising inflation is not expected to have a significant impact on operating income at the end of the current financial year. The weighted average lease term (WALT) of the portfolio, which consists of six properties, is 3.1 years.
New lettings and various contract extensions by long-standing core tenants helped to underpin the tenant quality in the portfolio. In Bernʼs Morgenstrasse property, for example, an insurance agency that has been at the location since the property was renovated extended its lease for another six years. Full occupancy was achieved in the Torre commercial building in Baden. In the Gewerbestrasse 12/12a property in Egg, the active marketing of smaller spaces succeeded in attracting new lettings. Moreover, a project to increase the quality of the space on offer will be implemented in the property from the beginning of 2023.
Züblin determined the portfolioʼs relevant energy parameters and consumption data based on an analysis of its CO2 emissions. The next step is to define and formulate Züblinʼs sustainability targets.
In a market environment that remains challenging, Züblin continues to concentrate on selective investments in centrally located office properties in its established core markets, i.e. our focus is primarily on the domestic market. Züblin is also sticking to its defined investment criteria. The guiding principle remains that properties will only be purchased if they complement the portfolio in a sustainable manner and will create added value in the long term.
Analysing data – building for the future
Sustainability means much more than using resources responsibly
Solid balance sheet – 29.3% LTV
Total assets amounted to CHF 232.0 million on 30 September 2022 with a solid equity ratio of 58.9% (31.03.2022: 59.2%). Net asset value (NAV) per share stands at CHF 41.19. After the distribution of CHF 1.00 to shareholders in June 2022, NAV was up slightly from CHF 41.17 at 31 March 2022.
The real estate portfolio was valued at CHF 226.7 million as at 30 September 2022. Five of the six investment properties are financed with a revolving CHF 100 million facility, which expires in March 2029. CHF 66 million (31.03.2022: CHF 67 million) of this facility had been drawn at the balance sheet date. This results in a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 29.3% (31.03.2022: 29.7%).
Züblinʼs focus in the second half of financial year 2022/23 will be on measures to reduce CO2 emissions and projects to increase the attractiveness of the available letting space. The Board of Directors and Executive Board are committed to a disciplined acquisition process, which means we will realize growth only where we can acquire properties that dovetail with the strategy and create sustainable added value. In addition, Züblin is monitoring opportunities to achieve growth through mergers with smaller portfolios.
Dr. Wolfgang Zürcher
CEO / CFO