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ECO Business-Immobilien AG

EANS-Adhoc: ECO Business-Immobilien AG with sound earnings growth in the first quarter of 2010

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21.05.2010

ECO Business-Immobilien AG with sound earnings growth in the first quarter of 2010

Vienna, 21 May 2010. ECO Business-Immobilien AG (Vienna Stock Exchange  /  Prime Market: ECO) completed a successful start into   the  2010  financial  year  with EBIT of EUR 9.2 million for the first quarter (1-3/2009: EUR -6.2 million).  The foundation for this positive  development  was  formed  by  the  re-dimensioning programme  implemented  in  2009  as  well  as  an  improvement  in   the  market environment  in  Austria  and  Germany.  These  factors   supported  satisfactory rentals, an increase in property values and a further improvement  in  financial results. The equity ratio remained stable at a high 41.3%.

ECO generated revenues of EUR 14.3  million  for  the  first  quarter of  2010, compared with EUR 16.5 million in the first quarter of 2009 based  on  a  larger property portfolio. The more encouraging market environment and active  property management supported a net gain of EUR 1.2 million  from  changes  in  the  fair value of investment properties. This represents a  significant  shift  from  the first quarter of 2009, which brought a  valuation  loss  of  EUR  14.9   million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)  equalled  EUR   9.2  million  for  the reporting period, compared with EUR -6.2 million in the first  three  months  of 2009.

A  reduction  in  debt  and  generally  lower  interest  rates   allowed  for  an improvement in  financial  results  to  EUR -4.8   million  (1-3/2009:  EUR  -6.5 million). Profit before tax equalled EUR 4.5 million and reflects a  substantial increase over the comparable prior  year  level  of  EUR  -12.7 million.  Profit after tax turned positive at EUR 3.5 million, versus EUR  -9.9  million  in the first quarter of 2009. The operating strength of ECO  is   underscored  by  funds from operations before interest and taxes, which amounted  to  EUR  8.0  million for the first quarter of 2010 (1-3/2009: EUR -5.7 million). FFO  after  interest and taxes was also positive at EUR 3.3 million, compared with EUR -12.2 million in the first quarter of the previous year.

Following the re-dimensioning of the property portfolio  and  the   strengthening of equity during  2009,  no  major  changes  were  made to  the  balance  sheet structure during the first quarter of 2010.   The  balance  sheet  total  of  ECO equalled EUR 858.1 million as of 31 March  2010,  and  is  nearly  unchanged  in comparison with the EUR 858.6 million reported  at  year-end  2009.  The  equity ratio remained stable at 41.3% (31.12.2009: 41.6%),  as  did  net  debt  at EUR 476.4 million (31.12.2009: EUR 468.7 million).  The   loan-to-value  (LTV)  ratio was 56.5% at the end of March 2010. A total of EUR 11.4 million  in  liabilities due for refinancing in   2010  were  converted  to  long-term  during  the  first quarter. The Company´s  financing  is  secured  over  the  long-term,  and  the remaining volume of refinancing for this year totals only EUR 3.5 million.  Cash and cash equivalents totalled EUR 10.4 million at the end of the  first  quarter of 2010, compared with EUR 16.0 million as of 31 December 2009.

Net asset value (NAV) per share equalled EUR 10.39 as of 31 March   2010,  versus EUR 10.45 at year-end 2009. Adjusted NAV equalled EUR 10.21  per  share  (versus EUR 10.30 at year-end 2009).

The ECO property portfolio comprised 61 objects  with  541,500  m²   of  rentable space as of 31 March 2010.  The  occupancy  levels  as   well  as  average  rents remained constant during the reporting period. The focus for the  first  quarter of 2010 was placed on the redevelopment  of  selected  objects,  and  the  first positive results have already been recorded.

Activities during the remainder of this year will focus  on  the   implementation of ECO´s strategy for the future, which was defined during  the  first  quarter. The initial step in this strategy involves strengthening the creation  of  value in the existing portfolio  through  the  redevelopment  of  properties,  through active asset management and through trading activities. Plans call for the  sale of completed properties whose development potential has been exhausted  and  the acquisition of other  objects  with  a   potential  for  an  increase  in  value. Accordingly, preparations were made during the first quarter  of  2010  for  the sale of selected objects during the coming months.

A solid liquidity and equity structure as well as  secured  long-term financing will allow ECO to  effectively  utilise  the  growing   number  of  opportunities offered by the market in 2010. In addition, the property  portfolio  provides  a sound  foundation  for  the   Company´s  further  development.    The    continuous optimisation of the portfolio should ensure stable occupancy and  rental  income this year.  Against  the  backdrop  of  a  recovering  market   environment,  the Management Board of ECO expects positive cash income from  operating  activities as well as an improvement in profit over 2009.

Selected Company Data in accordance with IFRS

@@start.t2@@|1-3/2010    |1-3/2009    |
|Revenues                                                         |(TEUR) |14,324        |16,523        |
| Thereof rental income                                  |(TEUR) |11,592        |13,444        |
|Net gain/(loss) from changes in the              |(TEUR) |1,210         |-14,888      |
fair value of investment properties
|Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation |(TEUR) |8,034         |8,708         |
and amortisation (EBITDA)
|Operating profit (EBIT)                                 |(TEUR) |9,235         |-6,193        |
|Profit before tax (EBT)                                 |(TEUR) |4,484         |-12,679      |
|Profit after tax                                            |(TEUR) |3,414         |-9,828        |
(after non-controlling interests)

|Earnings per share                                         |(EUR)  |0.10            |-0.29        |
|Weighted average number of shares                 |(no.)  |34,100,000  |34,100,000|

|FFO (funds from operations)                          |(TEUR) |8,034          |-5,694      |
before interest and taxes 1)
|Cash earnings (FFO - funds from operations) |(TEUR) |3,274          |-12,191    |
after interest and taxes 2)

|NAV per share as of the balance sheet date  |(EUR)  |10.39          |10.31        |@@end@@

1) EBIT + depreciation and amortisation +/- fair value adjustments +/- impairment charges 2) EBIT + depreciation and amortisation +/- fair value adjustments +/- impairment charges - financial results - income taxes paid

Balance Sheet Data

@@start.t3@@|Consolidated balance sheet -                      |31/03/2010            |31/12/2009         |
summary in TEUR
|Non-current assets                                      |837,570                 |833,149              |
| Thereof investment properties                  |783,966                 |782,465              |
| Thereof properties under construction      |42,043                  |39,281                |
|Current assets                                            |20,533                  |25,401                |
|Total assets                                                |858,102                 |858,550              |
|Equity and reserves                                    |354,627                 |357,329              |
| Thereof non-controlling interests            |243                        |834                    |
|Non-current liabilities                              |466,155                 |452,400              |
|Current liabilities                                    |37,321                  |48,822                |
|Total equity and liabilities                      |858,102                 |858,550              |


Property Data
                                                                    |31/03/2010            |31/03/2009        |
|Number of objects                                        |61                         |71                    |
| Thereof investment portfolio                    |59                         |69                    |
| Thereof development projects                    |2                          |2                      |
|Rentable space in m²*                                 |541,500                 |580,800            |
|Garage spaces (number)                                |2,970                    |3,060                |
|Property assets (in TEUR)                          |826,009                 |892,792            |
| Thereof properties under construction      |42,043                  |31,247              |@@end@@

* Garage spaces were included at 20 m² each / parking areas included

This press release includes forward-looking estimates and  statements that  are based on the information available to ECO Business-Immobilien AG at the  present time. Forward-looking statements are  normally  described  with  terms  such  as "expect", "estimate", "plan", "anticipate", "assume", "should",  "could",   etc., and reflect conditions at the time  they  are  made.  ECO   notes  that  numerous factors may cause actual circumstances and, therefore also  actual  results,  to differ from the expectations described in this press release.

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ots Originaltext: ECO Business-Immobilien AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
ECO Business-Immobilien AG
Wolfgang Gössweiner, Speaker of the Management Board
Tel +43 1 580 88 0
E      goessweiner@eco-immo.at

Metrum Communications
Roland Mayrl
Tel +43 1 504 69 87-331
E      r.mayrl@metrum.at

Peter Pechar
Head of Investor Relations
Tel.: +43(1)580 88 35
mailto:pechar@eco-immo.at

Branche: Real Estate
ISIN:      AT0000617907
WKN:        A0D8RY
Index:    Prime Market
Börsen:  Wien / Regulated free trade



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