Q3 2014 Trading update
Vastned raises estimated direct result 2014 to € 2.35 per share
Key points Q3 2014:
- Occupancy rate stable at 96.5% (30 June 2014: 96.6%)
- Acquisitions of premium city high street shops for an amount of € 41 million strengthen the quality of the property portfolio
- Further diversification of loan providers with € 75 million long-term unsecured loan
from AXA Real Estate Investment Managers
- Estimated direct result 2014 raised from € 2.10 - € 2.30 to € 2.35 per share
- Dividend proposal 2014: € 2.00 per share
Rotterdam, 3 November 2014 – Vastned, the European retail property company focusing on venues for premium shopping, has further improved the quality of both the property and its loan portfolio in the third quarter. Vastned raises its estimated direct result for 2014 from € 2.10 - € 2.30 to € 2.35 per share.
Vastned's focus in the past quarter has been on further expanding our position in premium cities. Over the past three months, we have studied a great many acquisition opportunities. Ultimately, we acquired high street shops amounting to more than € 40 million in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Ghent and Lyon, such as the corner property on Leidsestraat in Amsterdam, which is leased to The Coffee Company and the Dutch cosmetics brand Rituals. At the end of September we finalised the acquisition of the shop leased to fashion house Sandro on the luxury shopping street Rue Édouard Herriot in Lyon. This acquisition was finalised at the end of September. Shortly after, we bought the adjoining property leased to the French high-end fashion retailer CosmoParis from the same owner. This was mainly possible because of our knowledge of the market and our speed to act. This proves how important a hands-on and proactive approach is for composing a high street property portfolio. Over the past few years we have been able to change the French portfolio step by step from a highly varied portfolio spread over more than 50 locations into a compact portfolio with a clear focus on premium city high street shops and a higher occupancy rate in a small number of selected larger cities. The present portfolio is sound and up to any challenge the French economy might encounter. The good performance of the premium city high street shops in this quarter with rent increases of over 3% and an occupation rate of nearly 100% bear out our confidence. We notice that retailers wish to be present in the best locations in these cities and that they are prepared to pay for that. This is a key consideration, now that expansion for retailers, both in the mass-market and in the luxury segment, is no longer a given, so that they consider the pros and cons of a location very carefully before opening a shop. At the beginning of this year we stated that we anticipated a direct result of between € 2.10 and € 2.30 per share. Due to the fact that our property portfolio, in spite of the challenging retail climate, continues to perform well and the interest rate developments are favourable, with the corresponding lower financing costs, we expect a higher direct result for 2014 of around € 2.35 per share. In view of this result and our strong balance sheet, we expect to propose a dividend for 2014 of € 2.00 per share. Our sound balance sheet and financial resources enable us to continue our pragmatic and step-by-step pursuit of our strategy aimed at growth in premium cities.
Vastned is a listed (NYSE Euronext Amsterdam) European retail property fund focusing on venues for premium shopping. Vastned invests in selected cities in Europe and Turkey, with a clear focus on the best retail property in the most popular shopping streets in the bigger cities (high streets). Vastned's tenants are strong and leading international and national retail brands. The property portfolio has a size of approximately € 1.5 billion.