ECO Business-Immobilien AG

euro adhoc: ECO Business-Immobilien AG
quarterly or semiannual financial statement
ECO Business-Immobilien AG: strong business performance in Q1 2008

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ECO Business-Immobilien AG: strong business performance in Q1 2008

Vienna, 21 May 2008 - Vienna Prime Market listed ECO Business-Immobilien AG reported another strong operating performance in the first quarter of 2008, with improvements in all revenue and earnings indicators. Operating profit (EBIT) jumped 64% year on year to EUR 19.4 million as a result of higher revenues and revaluation gains, which were mainly attributable to changes in the fair value of the BAWAG portfolio. Total real estate assets at 31 March 2008 amounted to around EUR 1.2 billion, compared with EUR 697.5 million at the end of the first quarter of 2007.

Following significant portfolio expansion in 2007, the first quarter of 2008 was fully taken up with improving the effectiveness of asset management of existing properties. ECO increased the value of its properties, and secured several new long-term tenants. Unlocking the value of the BAWAG real estate - which was acquired late in 2007 - was the key to this success. ECO introduced effective measures that successfully increased revenues and raised the occupancy rate.

ECO´s revenues and earnings increased once again in the period under review. Revenues for the quarter rose 60% year on year to EUR 15.2 million, which can be attributed to organic growth from the real estate acquired in 2007 and new rentals from the existing portfolio. Due to current market conditions and the focus on developing the existing portfolio, acquisitions were made only selectively. As a result of seasonal factors, trading activities in the first quarter of 2008 were flat. Total trading income of EUR 2.75 million was slightly higher than the EUR 2.29 million achieved in the previous period, with a consistently higher margin of 28% on IFRS values. The real estate asset revaluation required under IFRS accounting amounted to EUR 5.7 million (Q1 2006: EUR 2.4 million), or 0.5% of the value of real estate held as investment properties. This is primarily a reflection of value-adding asset management activities and increases in market prices for attractive locations.

In line with the strong operating performance, EBIT rose by 64% to EUR 19.4 million (Q1 2007: EUR 11.8 million). Profit before tax (EBT) increased to EUR 8.5 million, compared with EUR 7.4 million in the first quarter of 2007. Consolidated net profit was up by 55% to EUR 8.7 million, while earnings per share (on a higher number of shares) rose some 13%, to EUR 0.25.

Net asset value (NAV) per share at 31 March 2008 was 4.4% higher than a year earlier, increasing from EUR 12.00 to EUR 12.53.

Total real estate assets jumped from EUR 697.5 million at the end of the first quarter of 2007 to EUR 1.2 billion, mainly as a result of the acquisitions made at the end of 2007. ECO´s real estate portfolio at 31 March 2008 amounted to 126 properties (including development projects), compared with 119 at the end of the first quarter of 2007, while total usable space amounted to around 671,500 m2.

Following the good start to financial 2008 and the strong earnings performance in the opening months of the year, the Management Board of ECO expects solid results for 2008 as a whole. ECO´s focus in the current financial year will be on increasing earnings through effective real estate management (raising revenues with new rentals and reduced vacancy rates), profitable trading activities and an expansion of development activities. Plans for selective growth in the property portfolio will be implemented using a balanced mix of own funds and debt capital.

Key financial indicators in accordance with IFRS

@@start.t2@@Q1 2008            Q1 2007
Revenues                                                         (EUR ´000)    18,303              11,522
  of which rental income                                (EUR ´000)    15,232                9,543
Profits on disposal of non-current assets    (EUR ´000)      2,748                2,292
Net gain from changes in fair value              (EUR ´000)      5,700                2,410
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT)        (EUR ´000)    19,350              11,785
Earnings before tax (EBT)                              (EUR ´000)      8,453                7,417
Consolidated net profit                                 (EUR ´000)      8,694                5,625
(after minority interests)

Earnings per share                                         (EUR)                0.25                 0.23
Weighted average number of shares                                34,100,000        25,000,000

FFO before interest and taxes*                      (EUR ´000)    15,209                9,382
FFO after interest and taxes*                        (EUR ´000)      4,234                4,852
NAV per share                                                 (EUR)              12.53                12.00@@end@@

* Earnings before tax + depreciation +/- changes in fair value

Property information

@@start.t3@@March 31, 2008        March 31, 2007
Number of properties                                                         126                         119
  of which hold portfolio                                                  72                          55
  of which trading portfolio                                              46                          63
  of which development projects                                          8                            1
Total usable space in m2 *                                         671,500                  463,300
  of which trading portfolio                                        42,600                    49,200
  of which development portfolio                                 53,100                      5,600
Underground parking spaces (number)                              3,470                      2,330
  of which trading portfolio                                            280                         270
  of which development portfolio                                      230                            0
Total real estate assets (EUR ´000)                        1,244,601                  697,533
  of which properties under construction                    38,597                    11,982
  of which trading portfolio                                        58,195                    81,973@@end@@

* Garage spaces calculated at 20 m2 per space

@@start.t4@@end of announcement                                                 euro adhoc

ots Originaltext: ECO Business-Immobilien AG
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Further inquiry note:
ECO Business-Immobilien AG
Friedrich Scheck
Tel.: +43(1)535 21 99-12

Peter Pechar
Head of Investor Relations
Tel.: +43(1)535 21 99-35

Hochegger Financials
Roland Mayrl
Tel.: +43(1) 504 69 87-31

Branche: Real Estate
ISIN:      AT0000617907
WKN:        A0D8RY
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / Regulated free trade

Weitere Meldungen: ECO Business-Immobilien AG

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