Article posted on : 09/03/2023
2022 annual results, first milestone on the new roadmap
The Board of Directors of Société de la Tour Eiffel, meeting on 9 March 2023, approved the annual and consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2022. The audit procedures for these financial statements have been completed, and the corresponding reports are in the process of being issued.
“With its gaze turned resolutely towards the future, at the start of 2022 Société de la Tour Eiffel embarked on the first stages of its transformation plan by adopting a roadmap and implementing an internal organisational set-up suited to its new goals, including strengthening its investment and development teams and creating a CSR department. These changes, brought in over the year, paved the way for a new asset disposal plan launched in the second half of the year and the restart of future development projects. However, despite some noteworthy deals, the company still faces some major letting challenges as it seeks to rebuild its cashflows and dividend payout capacity, including the termination of some major tenancies in the Paris Region and planned vacancies to allow for redevelopment. For this reason, the transformation of its portfolio, with a focus on asset classes and locations that address new economic and societal challenges, will require a transition phase before shareholders see the benefits of the new model. With major stages now under way, and despite a market heavily impacted by inflation, rising interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty, I have confidence in the company’s ability to effectively pursue its roadmap over five years as announced in March 2022.” said Christel Zordan, Chief Executive Officer of Société de la Tour Eiffel.
- 99% of 2022 rents collected
- €13.8m in leases signed, including €7.7m new leases,
- Asset value down slightly on like-for-like scope, by 1.8% to €1.79bn
- €30m in disposals carried out, with a view towards transforming the portfolio
- €34m in acquisitions and developments of assets with sound fundamentals
- LTV still prudent at 38.1%
- €180m in undrawn revolving credit facilities
- EPRA NTA per share: €49.1
- EPRA NDV per share: €51.9
- Net Initial Yield EPRA Topped-up: 4.2%
… with a view to transforming the model to return to sustainable growth
- Occupancy rate EPRA: 78.1% (vs. 75.6%)
- Consolidated net profit: €4.0m (vs. €2.8m)
- EPRA earnings per share: €1.9 (vs. €1.6)
- Recurring cash flow per share: €1.8 (vs. € 1.7)
Creation of a specialised ESG committee
Aware that the value of its portfolio depends, among other things, on its environmental performance, and while holding itself to the highest CSR standards, Société de la Tour Eiffel continues its decade-long project to create real estate that is more environmentally responsible and energy efficient. As a natural extension of the Group’s CSR efforts, the Board of Directors supplemented its governance set-up in April by creating an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Committee. This specialised committee consists of four members: SMA SA (represented by Fabienne Tiercelin), Jacques Chanut, Imperio Assurances and Capitalisation (represented by Marie-George Dubost) and Christine Sonnier, an independent director, who chairs the committee.
Start of the new roadmap
To keep pace with rapid social changes, Société de la Tour Eiffel announced in March 2022 a new roadmap to transform its asset portfolio. This transformation focuses on bringing new asset classes with more mixed-use profiles into its portfolio (mixed-use urban projects, commercial assets, managed residential property, offices, logistics) and creating a wider regional footprint.
The Company’s change of direction has been accomplished using several tools: disposal of buildings that no longer suit the Group’s new challenges, internal developments (some already identified, others for the future), improved environmental performance of buildings, and investments in assets that are sustainably in tune with their market.
Disposal of buildings not suiting to the Group’s challenges
Despite the sharp slowdown in the general investment market, the Group successfully sold four assets in 2022 at close to their latest appraisal values for a total of €30m. Société de la Tour Eiffel will continue to rotate its portfolio in 2023 to meet the challenges of its roadmap.
Identifying current and future internal developments
As previously announced, the Group is taking advantage of the vacancy of the EvasYon (Lyon Dauphiné) and Plein’R in Puteaux (previously Olympe) sites to redevelop them. In Lyon, a building permit to develop a mixed-use project comprising office and co-living buildings (5,000 m² and 5,500 m², respectively) was obtained (all objections and claims resolved) in early 2022. The co-living building was secured with the signing of a 12-year off-plan lease agreement (BEFA) with a specialised operator. In Puteaux, on the banks of the river Seine just outside the La Défense district, the Group completed the pre-approval process and filed for a building permit to redevelop a 9,700 m² office building.
At the Aubervilliers site, which was freed up in late 2021, an ambitious mixed-use development is being studied, in accordance with the roadmap’s mixed-use objective. In the meantime, for two years, the site is hosting Poush – France’s first ever artists incubator project – turning it into an innovative, creative, cultural space that will help project the image of Aubervilliers and the Greater Paris area.
At the Parc du Golf in Aix-en-Provence, a permit has been obtained and freed of all claims to build two office buildings with a total surface area of 3,900 m².
On an available plot at the Parc Eiffel Nanterre Seine, in Paris’s western suburbs, the Group obtained a building permit to develop a 5,400 m² urban logistics building on which works are now under way. And in Bobigny in late 2021 the Group acquired a plot adjoining their existing land that will allow the whole site to be redeveloped as an urban logistics project. A building permit covering 7,580 m² was filed and obtained.
These six projects are perfect examples of the property company’s value creation strategy and are driving the development plan as administrative authorisations are obtained. The redevelopment projects together represent potential rental income of €5.8m, included in the planned vacancies.
Investments in properties in phase with their market
In the second half of the year, the Group made two acquisitions. The first, a 990 m² office building in Paris’s CBD, is fully let to a global leader in digitisation of the construction sector on a 9-year lease, including 6 years firm. The second is a mixed-use reversible office/residential building complex of 3,900 m² located in Lyon, close to the Part-Dieu station, and sold off-plan. On its completion in early 2025, this project, entitled Manufacture, will provide 2,000 m² of offices, 1,300 m² of housing and 600 m² of commercial space.
At the same time, promises of sale were signed on three investment projects: the off-plan sale of a 4,400 m² pre-let building in Issy les Moulineaux (delivery mid-2025) and two restructured and let assets in Paris’s 9th and 12th arrondissements of 1,320 m² of 2,750 m², respectively, with completion scheduled for early 2023. These investments also fit with the strategy to transform the portfolio, with a focus on high-quality locations, secure rental income and high-environmental performance buildings.
A portfolio being transformed…
As of 31 December 2022, property values totalled €1,787m: 80% in offices (€1,430m), 10% in business/logistics premises (€183m), 8% in mixed-use (€147m) with a still marginal presence in managed residential properties. All these properties are located in France, including 75% in Greater Paris (€1,346m). As part of the Group’s ongoing efforts to enhance the quality of its portfolio, 79% of this has been environmentally certified.
…addressing major letting issues…
Deals were signed covering €13.8m in annualised rent during the period, including €7.7m in new leases and €6.1m rolled over. Highlights of the year included a 11,700 m² lease signed with Nokia at Massy early in 2022, renegotiation of a 12,200 m² lease with CS Group in Plessis Robinson and notice given by Orange on its 7,880 m² site in Bagneux and by France Télévision on its 4,100 m² lease in Saint-Cloud, resulting in a net annualised loss in the rental business of -€0.4m.
During the year, leases were signed on more than 89,400 m² of property. Apart from the aforementioned deals, the Company renewed its lease with EY for 2,170 m² of space in Bordeaux, and signed new leases with Polyexpert Rhône Alpes, for 1,820 m² in the K-Bis complex in Vaulx-en-Velin, and with M2DG for 620 m² in Paris Auber. In addition, the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and Pôle Emploi rolled over or extended their respective leases on 3,960 m2 and 5,230 m2 in Paris Domino.
As of 31 December 2022, the financial occupancy rate (EPRA) was 78.1% (vs. 75.6% at end-2021), and the average term and firm lease terms were, respectively, 5.6 and 3.0 years (vs. 5.5 and 3.0 at end-2021). Restated for planned vacancies (redevelopment projects), the occupancy rate was 84.1% (vs. 81.5%).
…and that is productive in occupied properties: 99% of 2022 rents collected
As at the date of this press release, 99.0% of the €76.2m in total rents invoiced in 2022 has already been collected.
This performance is the fruit of the internalised property and rental management model, combining thorough selection with proximity to tenants to build a quality rental foundation.
Monitoring of tenant risk on the basis of Coface and Credit Safe ratings continues to indicate that more than 80% of the rental base consists of tenants belonging to the top two categories (low or very-low risk), thus demonstrating its resilience.
EPRA earnings per share of €1.9 boosted by compensation for lease termination
At like-for-like scope and excluding planned vacancies, gross rental income rose by 3.1%, boosted by compensation received for early termination of the Bagneux lease (fell by -3.3% excluding this item). Overall, rents were stable at €84.5m, due to disposals and planned vacancies. Net of charges, rental income increased by 0.9%, in line with the change in the occupancy rate.
Current operating income came to €53.6m (vs. €51.4m). Most of this is a technical effect of the -€2.8m writedown in 2021 of expected proceeds from the Vaugirard project, which were booked in 2022 under other operating revenues (+€2.1m). Also, operating costs rose by €1.2m due to the Group’s restructuring and the fall in fees for managing works for lessees.
Financial expenses totalled €13.9m (vs. €15.5m), reflecting the positive impact of interest rate hedges and early loan repayments. The average rate held steady at 1.7 %. This stability was made possible by the strategy of hedging outstanding floating-rate debt, which is expected to continue paying off until December 2024.
After taking into account other income and expenses, taxes and the earnings of companies accounted for using the equity method, EPRA earnings (recurring net profit) stood at €42.0m, or €1.87 per share (after taking into account the cost of perpetual subordinated debt instruments (TSDI) in EPRA earnings per share), or €1.56 stripping out the impact of the Bagneux compensation.
After all EPRA restatement adjustments (allocations, reversals, net gains on disposals and changes in the value of financial instruments), consolidated net income was +€4.0m, compared with +€2.8m in 2021.
Recurring Cash Flow for the period totalled €30.3m, or €1.83 per share (of which €0.31 attributable to the Bagneux compensation), vs €1.66 in 2021.
Slight decline in net asset value
Going concern NAV (EPRA Net Tangible Assets) per share fell from €50.9 to €49.1 at end-2022, mainly due to the dividend payment and the adjustment to portfolio value. EPRA liquidation NAV (NDV) per share was helped by the fair value adjustment to fixed-rate financial instruments (reflecting the sharp rise in interest rates late in the year) which helped mitigate its decline, from €53.0 to €51.9.
Dividend per share: €0.75
Given the macroeconomic uncertainties and the challenges of the portfolio, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of €0.75 to the General Meeting of Shareholders.
Société de la Tour Eiffel undertakes a transformation of its portfolio
After a first year devoted to defining and adopting a new roadmap and adjusting its structure to meet these objectives, the Group, as it announced in early 2022, is firmly committed to transforming its portfolio. This means identifying opportunities to dispose of assets that no longer meet the new demands of the market, restoring a pipeline of development projects, returning actively to the investment market and seeking to continuously improve the portfolio’s environmental quality.
These combined initiatives should, over the next five years, rebuild cash-flows by improving occupancy rates and margins and will give the Group greater capacity to pay dividends and return to sustainable growth.
- 25 May 2023: General Meeting of Shareholders
- 15 June 2023: Dividend payment
- 26 July 2023: 2023 half-year results (after market close)
- February-March 2024: 2023 full-year results (after market close)
The presentation of the results will be available on the Group’s website on the morning of Friday 10 March: Financial information – Société Tour Eiffel (societetoureiffel.com).