REPORT TO SHAREHOLDERS
Another set of remarkable half-year results
Dear Sir or Madam
“I am proud to announce our Group’s strong operating performance for the first half of 2021. The Properties segment and almost all subsidiaries in the Real Estate Services segment increased their operating profit. This result underscores the resilience of our business model, as well as the commitment of our employees and the dynamism of the Group. Furthermore, the renewed significant revaluation gains highlight the quality of our focused portfolio”, says Stéphane Bonvin, CEO of Investis Group.
Stéphane Bonvin (CEO), Thomas Vettiger (Chairman of the BoD)
Strong Group results
The Group increased revenue by 14% to CHF 102 million (prior year: CHF 89 million). In the segment Properties, revenue was maintained despite the sale of three commercial properties in the second half of fiscal year 2020. Rohr AG and SEA lab – two recently acquired companies – were included in the consolidated results of the Real Estate Services segment for the first time from 1 April. This segment’s revenue also increased organically. Group EBITDA before revaluations and disposals was CHF 25 million (CHF 24 million).
Persistently higher cash flows from properties and a decrease in the average real-term discount rate to 2.94% (3.15% as at 31.12.2020) for the whole portfolio led to further increases in value of CHF 131 million. Operating profit (EBIT) went up as a result to an impressive CHF 155 million (CHF 62 million).
Both segments record excellent operating performance
The Properties segment achieved revenue of CHF 29 million (+0.5%). Like-for-like rental income performed very well again, rising by 1.6%. The vacancy rate was reduced to 2.7% (3.0% as at 31.12.2020). Annualised full occupancy property rent as per 30.06.2021 stood at CHF 63.0 million (CHF 58.6 million as at 31.12.2020). The Segment achieved a notable EBIT of CHF 151 million (CHF 59 million). This includes the previously mentioned revaluation effect of CHF 131 million.
Within the Real Estate Services segment, there was a slight decrease in revenue from Property Management of 1.6%. Complementary services were once again hurt by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. However, rents under management were increased very successfully again and now stand at CHF 1.49 billion (CHF 1.42 billion as at 31.12.2020). Facility Services posted revenue of CHF 45 million (CHF 32 million). In addition to the initial consolidation of Rohr and SEA lab, all other subsidiaries managed to increase their revenue contribution. Nearly all subsidiaries also improved their operating margins. The overall EBIT margin for Real Estate Services came in at a very good 8.8% (8.7%).
Financial expenses amounted to CHF 2.1 million, which is slightly up on the year-back figure. The weighted average interest expense in the first half of 2021 remained low at 0.4% (0.5%).
Financial income came to CHF 2.7 million (CHF 0.2 million). This much higher figure includes the effect of selling the minority stake in Flatfox AG (CHF 2.6 million).
Income taxes amounted to CHF 22.8 million with a tax rate of 14.7%.
Net profit was an excellent CHF 132 million (CHF 51 million) and CHF 10.39 per share (CHF 4.02). Net profit excluding revaluation effect came to CHF 19.6 million.
Very solid capital structure – gross LTV of 39%
Total assets came to CHF 1.7 billion as at 30 June 2021, with a very comfortable equity ratio of 51.5% (31.12.2020: 52.8 %). The CHF 140 million bond that matured in February 2021 was successfully partially refinanced with a new bond of CHF 115 million, at attractive conditions. The property portfolio was valued at CHF 1,668 million. On the balance sheet date, it comprised 170 buildings with 3,059 residential units. In relation to the value of the property portfolio, the loan-to-value figure (LTV) remained conservative at 39% (interest-bearing financial liabilities of CHF 650 million). Deferred tax liabilities increased to CHF 158.5 million (CHF 137.8 million).
Net asset value (NAV) per share excluding deferred taxes with regard to properties went up again to CHF 82.50 (31.12.2020: CHF 74.80).
Market environment and outlook for 2021
93% of the Investis portfolio consists of residential properties with mid-priced apartments in central locations in the Lake Geneva region. Its concentration in this region is the Investis Group’s USP. The Swiss housing sector remains a stable anchor for the real estate market, while the much-discussed flight from cities has not affected the Group’s core market. In fact, the high demand for precisely this kind of homes in Canton of Geneva has continued to grow, which is reflected in price trends. Between May 2020 and May 2021, rents for all non-new homes offered on the free market rose by 0.8% (OCSTAT Office Cantonal de la statistique de Genève). This increase is similar to previous years (+0.6% in 2019 and +0.8% in 2020). Among smaller apartments – the core market for Investis – the rise was larger, ranging from +1.0% for two- and three-room apartments to +1.5% for studios. Furthermore, the population of Canton of Geneva continues to grow (+0.5% or 2,690 people in the last twelve months according to OCSTAT). With planning permission being given for some properties in the city of Geneva, some new homes will come on to the market in the next few years; but not many will be on the free market (i.e., without city/cantonal rent control) as this remains highly over-regulated.
Immigration remains an important driver of demand and of vacancy rates. Immigration into Switzerland, as well as into Cantons Geneva and Vaud, remains positive. The real estate market in both cantons will continue to benefit from this more than most.
Within the Properties Segment, Investis plans to further expand its property portfolio through targeted acquisitions, with a focus on the Lake Geneva region. The operating environment for the Real Estate Services segment is getting back to normal. The already high level of digitalisation is being pushed even further. The segment continues to focus on providing high quality services.
Subject to unforeseen circumstances, including a renewed outbreak of COVID-19, and given the revaluation gains and continued solid performance of both the Properties and Real Estate Services segments, Investis expects net profit for 2021 as a whole to be significantly higher than in the previous year.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Board of Investis Holding SA, we would like to thank our shareholders for consistently placing their trust in us. Our thanks also go to all our employees, who show great commitment and loyalty.