Asset management and rental growth unlocking value
Robert Orr, Chairman of Tritax EuroBox plc, commented:
“The strong financial performance we announce today is evidence of the resilient foundations of our business. We continue to build a portfolio of high-quality buildings in key European markets let to institutional-grade occupiers on long-dated and inflation-linked leases. This foundation underpins our ability to capture attractive and sustainable levels of rental growth by our strategy.
Our strategy is focused on enhancing the strong income generating characteristics of our portfolio through asset management initiatives and increasing our exposure to higher returning development projects. Our recent surrender and reletting at Hammersbach, Germany, which delivered a 24% increase in rent, highlights both the strength of the market and provides a powerful indication of the significant embedded value within our portfolio. In Bornem, Belgium, we have successfully let the 15,000 sqm building that we recently developed, delivering significant development profits and a 7% yield on cost at rental levels that represent a 16% increase to previous rents secured on the site. Both are great examples of how, by implementing our strategy, we can continue to deliver for our shareholders by maximising the value of our existing assets and developing attractive new opportunities.
The macroeconomic environment has become less certain. However, our portfolio is high-quality and resilient. Together with the structural tailwinds from the strengthening European logistics occupier market, mean that we expect our business to deliver growing rental income and capital values for the remainder of this financial year and beyond”.
Capital growth and asset management driving strong total accounting returns
• Strong total return of 12.4%, ahead of the annual target of 9%, reflecting portfolio quality.
• Portfolio value growth of 32% to €1,689.1 million (30 September 2021: €1,281.4 million), driven by like-for-like valuation increase of 8.1%, €234.5 million of acquisitions and €59.7 million of development expenditure.
• Like-for-like rental income movement (annualised at period end) of -1.5%, reflecting a new vacancy in Strykow, Poland. Excluding the vacancy, like-for-like rental income growth was +0.9%.
• Actively managing the balance sheet to provide financial resilience and capacity for growth as well as reducing the cost of debt;
o Issued first private placement of €200 million of senior unsecured loan notes with a weighted average coupon of 1.368% and maturity of nine years.
o Fitch senior unsecured credit rating upgraded to BBB from BBB- providing support for further debt issuances.
o LTV of 27.9% (30 September 2021: 13.3%) or 39.5% including all committed expenditure on developments, acquisitions since the end of the reporting period and asset management.
Supportive market fundamentals
European logistics markets continue to see strong demand from a broad range of occupiers while vacancy levels across the countries we operate in are at or close to record low levels.
o Take-up in our core markets totalled 28.3 million sqm in the year to Q1 2022, up 23% year-on-year 5.
o European vacancy fell to 3.0% at Q1 2022 (Q1 2021: 3.9%). Rental growth has become increasingly widespread across Europe5.
o European logistics investment volumes reached a new high of €38.1 billion with yields for high-quality investments reaching record lows5.
Strong, resilient portfolio with significant embedded inflation-linked rental growth potential
• We have created a high-quality portfolio let to institutional-grade occupiers on long-dated, inflation -linked leases.
o Attractive, long-dated leases with weighted average unexpired lease term of 8.5 years as at 31 March 2022 (30 September 2021: 9.3 years).
o 98% of assets are income producing6. Of these, 77% review based on consumer price indices, 13% are fixed reviews, and the remaining 10% do not review. The non-reviewing income represents temporary rent guarantees or license fees.
o Estimated rental value growth of 5.4% in the period (0.9% six months ending 30 September 2021).
Strong portfolio income profile complemented by opportunities to add further value and enhance ESG performance
• Development schemes under way in Barcelona and Strykow progressing well:
o Barcelona extension expected to complete in November 2022 adding a further €2.8 million to annual rent at a 7.1% yield on cost.
o Strykow extension expected to complete in June 2022 adding a further €0.65 million of annual rent.
• Bornem development successfully leased achieving a profit on cost of 70% and yield on cost of 7.0% and adding €0.7 million rent.
• Post period end, we successfully re-let our Hammersbach, Germany asset to a new tenant increasing annual rent by 23.8% to €3.1 million, 15.9% above the September 2021 estimated rental value.
• Ongoing ESG initiatives reflected in improved 2021 GRESB score of 82/100 alongside 4 green stars (2020: 64/100, 2 green stars).
• Further opportunities to drive future income and capital growth from:
o Annual uplifts from the index-linked leases;
o Capturing 9.0% reversionary potential across the portfolio;
o Leasing 125,249 sqm of available floorspace;
o Developing 77,700 sqm of new floorspace on vacant land; and
o Brownfield redevelopment of 60,700 sqm.
Strategic deployment of capital through high-quality acquisitions
• Acquired seven assets in Germany, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands for total consideration of €435.1 million in the period, at yields ranging between 3.5% and 4.7%, including both income-producing assets and development projects which give the opportunity for value creation during construction and leasing.
• Deployed a further €97.8 million in two assets after the period end, acquiring land for redevelopment in Malmo in Sweden in April 2022 and speculatively forward funding the development of a prime logistics asset in the Dusseldorf region of Germany, completing in April 2022.
Presentation for analysts and investors
A Company presentation for analysts and investors will take place via a live webcast at 10am (BST) today.
To view the live webcast, please register at: https://stream.brrmedia.co.uk/broadcast/62716388860d1117d3862024.
The presentation will also be accessible on-demand later in the day from the Company website: https://www.tritaxeurobox.co.uk/investors/results-centre/.
1 30.9% including licence fee income and rental guarantees
2 See note 7 of the interim financial statements for reconciliation
3 Valuation under IFRS (excluding rental guarantees)
4 As per KPI definition
5 Data from CBRE, commentary and analysis by Tritax
6 Including licence fee income and rental guarantees