DGAP-News: Adler Group S.A. / Key word(s): Half Year Report
Adler Group S.A. reports robust operational performance and adequate cash position in H1 2022
Luxembourg, 29 August 2022: The Board of Directors of Adler Group S.A. (“Adler Group”) has appointed Thomas Echelmeyer (61) as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with effect as of 1 September 2022. Mr. Echelmeyer, a qualified auditor and tax advisor, has already held this position in the senior management of Adler Group ad interim based on a consultancy mandate since 1 June 2022. The Board of Directors will propose to the Company's next ordinary Annual General Meeting (AGM) or extraordinary AGM that Mr. Echelmeyer also be appointed to the Company's Board of Directors as an additional member.
The chairman of the Board of Directors Prof. Dr. A. Stefan Kirsten said: "The Board of Directors and I are very pleased that Thomas Echelmeyer is now taking over this role on a permanent basis, in what is undoubtedly a difficult time for the Group. With Thomas’s expertise, especially in the real estate business, he is exactly the right person at the right time for Adler Group. In addition, Thomas has already familiarized himself very well with the Company over the past months. The appointment was preceded by a structured search process, which succeeded in attracting other very good candidates who expressed an interest in this important position at Adler Group. The appointment strengthens the Group's corporate governance and our ambition to lead Adler Group back to stability."
Thomas Echelmeyer commented, "It is as Stefan Kirsten already said earlier this year: Adler Group is struggling, but vital. I have been able to see this in the past three months and am therefore happy to continue working permanently with my colleagues in management to lead the Adler Group towards a better future. I would like to thank the Board of Directors for the trust they have placed in me."
Robust operational performance in first half of 2022
Adler Group reports a robust operational performance of its yielding portfolio and an improved liquidity position in the first half of the financial year 2022. Adler Group made further progress in increasing the portfolio quality by means of asset disposals, resulting in a like-for-like fair value growth of 6.0% YoY and a low operational vacancy rate of 1.6%. Like-for-like rental growth was 2.3%.
“By reshaping our portfolio, we maintain a robust operational performance and further grow the quality and substance of our yielding property assets”, commented Thierry Beaudemoulin, CEO of Adler Group.
As a result of streamlining the residential portfolio to 26,243 units, income from rental activities decreased to €195.4m (H1 2021: €230.5m). Funds from operations from rental activities (FFO 1) totaled €49.9m compared to €67.8m in H1 2021. This corresponds to a FFO 1 per share of €0.42 (H1 2021: €0.58).
The average rent of the residential portfolio increased to €7.47/sqm/month in the reporting period, representing a like-for-like rental growth of 2.3% on a 12-month-basis, which was mainly driven by the Berlin portfolio. At 1.6% as of 30 June 2022, the vacancy rate was more than halved compared to mid-year 2021 (3.8%) but showed a slight increase over year-end 2021.
EBITDA from rental activities was down 23.7% in line with expectations to €85.9m (H1 2021: €112.5m), resulting in a moderate EBITDA margin uplift to 65.7% (H1 2021: 64.7%), which was mainly attributable to the disposal of the Northern portfolio to LEG.
As of 30 June 2022, the fair value of the entire portfolio including developments amounted to €9.5bn (year-end 2021: €10.0bn). The high-quality portfolio remains anchored in Berlin. The EPRA NTA as of 30 June 2022 amounted to €3,535m or €30.08 per share, compared to €4,269m / €36.33 per share at year-end 2021.
Cash position improved – further proceeds from sales expected
In the reporting period, Adler Group generated proceeds from disposals of investment properties of €1.06bn which were used to repay bonds and long-term loans by a total of €0.90bn. Compared to year-end 2021, the Group’s cash position rose by €215m to €771m, also thanks to a significantly improved operating cashflow. “For the second half of the year, we expect the proceeds from sales to be adequate for meeting the liquidity requirements for financing and operational purposes”, said CEO Thierry Beaudemoulin.
With the previously announced sale of the Waypoint portfolio, Adler Group has already realised an inflow of approximately €170m. Furthermore, Adler Group has announced the completed sale of the development projects Ostend Quartier and Westend Ensemble – Upper West – LEA B, both located in Frankfurt with combined cash proceeds of c. €166m. “In a challenging environment, Adler Group sold these projects with a combined discount to Gross Asset Value (GAV) of just 13.6%. This underscores our ability to deliver on our pledge of further improving our liquidity position in 2022 and beyond”, added Beaudemoulin.
One-off non-cash impairments impacting EPS and LTV
Against the background of recent market developments, Adler Group changed its assessment of credit risks inherent in receivables from the sale of real estate, resulting in one-off non-cash credit impairments (trade and other receivables) in the amount of €375.1m. In addition, the remaining goodwill of €91.4m attributable to the subsidiary Consus Real Estate was impaired in full, whereas the fair value of the investment properties decreased by €147.4m among others.
As a result, Adler Group reports a net loss for the reporting period of €604.4m, corresponding to earnings per share of -€4.94. “By reflecting goodwill impairments and the credit reassessment of inherent risks associated with receivables, both based on a constant monitoring process, the Adler Group management team continues its approach of eliminating risks off the balance sheet”, commented CFO Thomas Echelmeyer.
Mainly influenced by the one-off impairments, the net loan-to-value (LTV) increased to 58.0% as of
Guidance updated: net rental income now expected in the range of €233m to 242m
Because of the inclusion of BCP KPI’s into the second half of the year, Adler Group updated its guidance for FY 2022 to a net rental income in the range of €233m to 242m (previous forecast: €203m to 212m) and FFO 1 in the range of €84m to 88m (previous forecast €73m to 76m). For reasons of prudence the Board of Directors has previously decided not to submit a dividend proposal to the shareholders of the Adler Group until an unqualified audit opinion has been issued and will therefore not make any forward-looking statement on the dividend until further notice.
Search for auditor of the 2022 financial statements continues
During today’s Board meeting, the Board of Directors also discussed the ongoing search for an auditor for the 2022 financial statements in the wake of the previous auditor’s decision last May to decline to continue to act as auditor of the group. The formal audit tender process was launched directly after the Annual General Meeting in June; it has since closed without any audit tenders having been received. Individual auditing firms are therefore currently being approached directly.
"As soon as there will be a new factual situation in this regard, we will communicate it immediately," explained Chairman of the Board of Directors Stefan Kirsten, adding, "It is crucial for us to appoint an auditor, as we can only restore our credibility on the capital market and beyond with independently audited figures. We are doing everything possible to appoint an auditor, especially since Adler Group is a member of the DAX family, the flagship of Germany's financial center."
Finally, and as stated before, the Board of Directors, together with the management, has commenced a review of its strategy. As previously indicated, the Board of Directors expects to be able to present results from this review process at or about the time of the publication of the Group's Q3 results at the end of November 2022.
An Analyst & Investor webcast and conference call will be held on Tuesday, 30 August 2022, at
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29.08.2022 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
Adler Group S.A.
55 Allée Scheffer
+352 278 456 710
+352 203 015 00
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