Intershop performed well in the first half of 2020:
- As expected, net profit fell to CHF 33.9 million or CHF 18.06 per share, which equates to a return on equity of 10.3%.
- Shareholders' equity as at 30.06.2020 amounted to CHF 653.1 million or CHF 347.41 per share. This results in an equity ratio of 48.0%.
- The investment property portfolio generated a net yield of 5.2%.
- Despite the difficult environment, the vacancy rate of the investment property portfolio fell slightly to 7.9%.
After a confident start, the first half of this year was marked by the rapidly spreading pandemic. In particular, the imposed lockdown had far-reaching effects on the economy. Fortunately, companies that were immediately and heavily affected by the lockdown, such as restaurants, hotels and non-food retailers do not form a large part of the Intershop tenant mix. However, a multitude of other sectors of the economy also suffered from the recession, and some tenants expressed difficulty in meeting their contractual obligations. After examining the situation, Intershop offered solutions where justified and primarily granted payment deferrals and, in individual cases, rent reductions. Including valuation adjustments on outstanding deferred payment schemes, this reduced earnings by approx. CHF 1.0 million in the reporting period.
As at the balance sheet date, the property portfolio comprised 53 properties, including development and promotional properties. Rental income by usage for the reporting period amounted to 49% office and education, 31% light-industrial and logistics, 7% retail and restaurants, and 13% residential and parking.
The market value of the properties amounted to CHF 1,323.6 million at the end of the reporting period. After deduction of the investments made, the market value increased by CHF 0.9 million or 0.1% of the portfolio value. The increase is mainly attributable to improved letting, and in part lower discount rates.
As expected, rental income fell significantly a result of the earlier property disposals and the termination of leases of two larger development properties in Pfäffikon/SZ and Baden. Furthermore, the rental successes achieved were not able to compensate for the aforementioned negative income effects due to the pandemic, with the result that rental income fell by 5.8% to CHF 39.5 million. The gross yield on the investment property portfolio therefore declined by 0.2 percentage points to 6.0%.
The sale of the residential complex in Kilchberg and part of the plot of land on the industrial park in Oberwinterthur-Neuhegi resulted in a profit contribution of CHF 14.5 million.
Property expense remained stable at a low 10.6% of rental income. The net yield of the investment property portfolio amounted to 5.2% despite the effects of the pandemic-related lockdown.
While administrative expenses were reduced by 10.3%, personnel expenses rose slightly by 1.5%.
Interest expense decreased by CHF 0.6 million to CHF 4.5 million due to lower interest rates despite the CHF 23 million increase in debt since the end of the prior-year period.
The significant year-on-year increase in tax expense of CHF 6.7 million to CHF 7.7 million is due to a reduction in deferred taxes of CHF 6.8 million resulting from the tax reform (STAF) in the prior-year.
The effects of the pandemic were also felt in the development business. Approval procedures in particular took more time and the imposed restrictions of the lockdown led to delays on most construction sites. As of the balance sheet date, however, the situation has eased and the projects are developing positively overall. The sale of the 78 commonhold apartments currently under construction on Römerstrasse, Baden, got off to a very successful start in April. As of the balance sheet date, 56 units had been sold and 19 reserved in writing. In addition, more than 70% of the commonhold apartments on Gellertstrasse, Basel, have already been sold. However, the legal transfer is not now expected to be completed until the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Intershop followed the transaction market very closely during the reporting period but was unable to identify any attractive purchase opportunities.
The total return of the share, which is made up of the price gain and the dividend paid, amounted to 4.4% in a difficult stock market environment and was significantly higher than the benchmark index SXI Swiss Real Estate Shares TR with -13.3%.
The longer-term consequences of the pandemic and the associated constraints are difficult to assess. Although the situation on the letting market has eased, demand is still well below the level of the previous year. Despite the letting successes in the first half of the year, the vacancy rate is still expected to rise to a good 10% by the end of the year. Provided there is no further comprehensive lockdown, rental income should reach the volume of the first half on a comparable basis.
The transaction market will continue to be closely monitored. Any acquisition opportunities will only be considered if a sustainable added value can be achieved. Should attractive sales opportunities arise, they will be strongly considered.
Provided that the effects of the pandemic do not have an unexpected negative impact on the second half of the year, Intershop again expects to close the year with a good result, which should enable it to maintain its attractive dividend policy.
Intershop is a real estate company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and active in Switzerland, which invests principally in commercial properties. As per 30/06/2020 its portfolio comprised 53 properties with a lettable area of 563,000 m2 and a market value of some 1.3 billion Swiss francs. Intershop invests mainly in the Zurich area, around Lac Leman and along the main traffic arteries. Its portfolio combines high yields with security, thanks to diversification by geography and type of use, with considerable potential for value appreciation in the properties with development potential.
|Publication of annual report 2020 with media and financial analysts conference
|Annual General Meeting 2021
|Publication of half-year report 2021 with online presentation for media and financial analysts