Results for the Year Ended 31 December 2022
Irish Residential Properties REIT plc (IRES)
24 February 2023
Irish Residential Properties REIT Plc
RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2022
Irish Residential Properties REIT plc (“I-RES” or the “Company”), an Irish real estate investment company focused on residential rental accommodation, today issues its annual results for the year from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022.
Key Financial and Operational Highlights
Margaret Sweeney, I-RES’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “2022 represented another year of delivery for I-RES. Despite the challenging macroeconomic backdrop, the financial and operational performance of the business was strong, demonstrating the resiliency of our business model and the commitment of our people. Our occupancy levels increased year-on-year to 99.4%, supported by the robust market demand for our high-quality professionally managed apartments. We also continued to execute on our growth strategy, adding 238 homes with strong sustainability credentials in excellent locations. This portfolio growth, coupled with our strong occupancy levels and organic rental growth delivered overall revenue growth of €84.9 million for the year, a 6.5% increase on 2021 and an increase in net rental income of 4.3% to €65.7 million.
We successfully completed the internalisation of the management company – a significant strategic milestone for the business. I-RES is now a fully integrated Irish company and operating platform which is unique in the Irish market. This has allowed us to invest in our people and technology, place an enhanced focus on our resident service standards and further embed sustainability across all aspects of the business. This investment will enable us to enhance our resident experience, while also delivering for all our stakeholders.
There is a significant shortage of good quality private rental accommodation available as highlighted in recent reports, to service a continually strong and growing population, economy and jobs market. We are pleased to have added 130 new homes at an investment of c.€70 million in 2022. With our strong balance sheet and disciplined capital management including recycling of capital, I-RES is committed to delivering on its mission of investing in the provision of professionally managed quality homes for the Irish market. Allied with supportive market fundamentals, the Company remains in a resilient position due to its high quality, irreplaceable property portfolio in proven locations, and our more affordable pricing proposition provides additional resilience through the cycle.
As we look ahead, we are strongly placed to continue to execute on our vision for the business. Our experienced team, high-quality portfolio, robust balance sheet and strong liquidity levels mean we are very well positioned to navigate an uncertain new landscape, whilst continuing to deliver for our investors and our stakeholders.”
(1) For definitions, method of calculation and other details, refer to the Financial Review.
(2) The non-recurring costs of €5.7 million (31 December 2021: €5.4 million) and general and administrative expenses of €11.5 million (31 December 2021: €11.1 million) incurred in 2022 totals the general and administrative expense costs of €17.2 million reflected in the Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2022 (31 December 2021: €16.5 million).
(3) Excluding fair value of development land and investment properties under development.
A Year of Continued Strong Performance
I-RES has delivered another resilient operational and financial performance in 2022. We continued to execute on our investment strategy, including investment in the delivery of two new developments (130 homes) and the acquisition of Ashbrook (108 homes), whilst also adding value from our existing portfolio through active asset management and capital recycling.
We continue to see strong demand for rental accommodation across the Irish residential markets as steady employment levels, along with sustained population growth, fuels a growing need for housing in Ireland. As evidenced by low resident turnover, strong occupancy and strong rent payment performance, I-RES is well positioned as we head into the new calendar year.
The macroeconomic and geopolitical environment changed significantly in the second half of 2022, with the ECB responding to elevated levels of inflation with a series of aggressive rate hikes leading to a notable effect on demand and supply of credit in the euro area and global equity markets downturns. Despite these effects, residential real estate markets, particularly in Ireland have been resilient and the unique underlying strength of the Irish economy together with population growth is providing a strong underpin to our sector and business over the long term.
Significant Strategic Progress
The Board made the decision to internalise as it believes it is an important strategic and financial objective at this point in the Company's evolution and is in the best interests of shareholders.
I-RES’ business is now a wholly Irish operating business, following the acquisition of the management company and transition of services from Canada during 2022. We have strengthened our team with several senior management appointments and supported this by continued investment in new technology. This has created a unique proposition in the Irish market and further capitalises on our position as the leading rental provider of choice.
All exceptional costs associated with this internalisation process have now been incurred in the financial periods up to 30 June 2022 and no further exceptional costs are anticipated. As previously outlined by the Company at the time of announcing its intention to proceed with the internalisation process, we believe internalisation will generate greater value for shareholders in the long term.
Continued Delivery on our Growth Strategy
As at 31 December 2022, the Group had a portfolio of 3,938 residential units across 37 properties in the Dublin region and one property in Cork. The Group added a total of 238 homes to the portfolio in 2022, of which 130 were new residential units brought to the market by I-RES through our development projects at School Yard, Dublin 1 and Tara View, Dublin 4. 92% are leased at market rent and are contributing to NAV and the income base.
In 2022, we continued to be proactive on our asset and capital management strategy. During the year, the Group disposed of 128 units at Hampton Wood in Finglas, for €54.5 million which represented a strong return on investment and demonstrated the value we can create from the selective recycling of assets.
We will continue to evaluate opportunities to further optimise our portfolio and strengthen our position as the leading provider of private rented residential homes in Ireland, while maintaining a disciplined approach to capital allocation.
Building a Sustainable and Responsible Business
Environmental, social and governance (‘‘ESG’’) considerations continue to take focus across our business, influencing our operations and investment decision making. As a Board, we regularly engage with our stakeholders to inform our decisions and ensure that as their focus on ESG, particularly climate change matters grow, I-RES continues to respond to their evolving expectations. We have taken important steps towards the development of a carbon reduction roadmap for the portfolio. We have committed to reducing our scope 2 emissions by 10% and scope 1 emissions by 30% in 2023. I-RES’ ambition is to reduce our carbon emissions in line with the ambition and commitment of the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition to setting ambitious targets the Group has conducted a review of our sustainability strategy in order to maintain pace with the quickly evolving area of sustainability and to ensure we continue to deliver on our commitments.
Our employees are the backbone of our business and diversity across the Board, management and employees as well as organisation culture is a key focus area of the Board. With that in mind, we have appointed Tom Kavanagh as the Non-Executive Director with direct responsibility for Workforce Engagement. Tom has met in person with employees across the business to listen to their views as well as engaging with management on the annual Employee Satisfaction Survey, which we are delighted to say significantly exceeded all comparator benchmarks. The Company has received recognition for its already diverse and inclusive workplace achieving a Silver Award from Investors in Diversity as well as for its Board and Management diversity. Responsibility and transparency are central to good governance and in turn are central to our strategy. The Company strives to provide clear communication and transparent disclosure to all stakeholders. We were delighted to see a year-on-year improvement in our overall scoring in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (‘‘GRESB’’), an industry-leading global assessor of the ESG performance of real estate assets. We also retained our EPRA sBPR Gold Award for Sustainability Best Practice Reporting and we continuously review ratings and benchmarks to promote transparency to all stakeholders.
As one of Ireland’s leading providers in the mid-market residential sector, we strive to increase availability in the market and raise the living standard by providing professionally operated and high-quality rented accommodation. Our investment strategy is focused on family-friendly urban locations which feature community facilities, delivered to high standards, with good public transportation links, well developed educational and social infrastructure and sustainable employment opportunities where people want to live, work and build their lives.
Robust Balance Sheet
I-RES has an unmatched high quality, modern portfolio of residential properties with the portfolio achieving rental growth of 6.5% in 2022 through continued investment in new supply and regulated increases in rents and with the underlying strength in demand and cash flow from our investment properties unchanged. The Company remains well positioned with a good debt structure, no short-term obligations and good visibility of future financing costs as 72% of total drawn debt is locked in at fixed low rates of interest. The Company has an additional €143 million available for investment within its committed credit facilities at an attractive rate. The Group’s Total Gearing as of 31 December 2022 was 43.3% (31 December 2021: 40.7%). The Group takes a pro-active approach towards managing total gearing and ensuring it remains below the 50% maximum permitted under the Irish REIT Regime.
The Company continues to see strong year-on-year recurring income which feeds through to our dividend policy, an important contributor to shareholder returns. We recognise the importance of the dividend to our shareholders and we aim to maintain a stable dividend policy compliant with the Irish REIT regime whereby, subject to having sufficient distributable reserves, I-RES is required to distribute at least 85% of the Property Income of its Property Rental Business for each financial year to shareholders via dividends. As part of this, the Company paid an interim dividend of 2.30 cents per share for the six months ended 30 June 2022. It is the intention of the Board to declare an additional dividend of 2.81 cents per share for the year ended 31 December 2022.
The outlook for the business remains positive, as demand for professionally managed homes continues to far outstrip supply. This is best illustrated by our continued strong occupancy levels and strong financial performance for the year. This should continue to underpin our revenue growth trajectory and resilient portfolio valuations.
Ireland’s GDP growth is expected to outpace all other EU countries again in 2023 with the European Commission forecasting 4.9% growth0F(1). Unemployment levels reached a low of 4.3% in December 20221F(2) which is a positive signal for continued strength across rent collections.
Despite the Irish Government’s continued focus on increasing housing supply, there remains a clear and significant supply and demand imbalance across all tenures of the housing market in Ireland, with increased costs and interest rates putting further pressure on the viability of delivering new supply.
Our experienced team, high-quality portfolio, strong customer base and robust balance sheet mean we are very well positioned to weather the economic headwinds we are facing and positioned to continue to take advantage of favourable underlying market factors. We believe the structural drivers of demand for private rental residential accommodation – including population growth, strong inward investment and economic growth – will continue to underpin the robust demand for our high-quality professionally managed homes over the long term. As a Board, we continually monitor our performance and our strategic focus continues to be on driving long-term risk adjusted returns for shareholders and the Board is confident that I-RES has the right strategy and business model in place to continue to deliver long-term returns for shareholders.
The Board would like to thank our residents who are central to our business, as well as our shareholders, banking partners and employees for your continuing support. We would also like to thank our CEO, Margaret Sweeney and the I-RES management team for their leadership and enormous effort and commitment in delivering strong performance in 2022 while at the same time undertaking the delivery in a very tight timeframe of a very significant internalisation of the operations of the business and during a time of significant macroeconomic uncertainty. The success of our business is very much due to our very committed employees and key partners and the Board thanks them for their significant contributions.
Chief Executive’s Statement
2022 has been a year of positive change for I-RES, successfully delivering a number of key strategic milestones that will set the foundation for the business to deliver in the years ahead. We completed the successful internalisation of the management company and now have a fully integrated Irish company, led by a proven management team with experience through various economic cycles. The new organisation structure and operating platform will enable us to leverage our competitive strengths in capital-lite active asset management and sustainable operations, creating long-term value for shareholders. In 2022, we have reached record levels of revenue and delivered on a significant portion of our growth pipeline together with disciplined capital management, while also identifying and closing on accretive capital recycling opportunities.
2022 Financial & Operational Performance
In 2022, our revenue increased by 6.5%, due to the introduction of new assets, and organic rental growth backed by our consistently high occupancy levels. Net Rental Income increased to €65.7 million, with a stabilised margin of 77.5%, showing the strength of the business’s fundamentals as well as continued and active cost management initiatives and discipline, despite inflationary pressures. Our Adjusted General and Administrative costs remained flat year on year at €11.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA grew to €54.2 million, an increase of 4.8% year on year, showing the strong consistent cash generation of the business. EPRA Earnings remained relatively flat year on year, with the decrease of €0.7 million, largely attributable to increases in interest costs and non-recurring costs from internalisation.
Our residential occupancy rate has remained strong, increasing to 99.4% as at 31 December 2022 (31 December 2021: 99.1%), underpinned by strong property management and attractive market fundamentals in the Irish residential rental sector. This high occupancy level, coupled with increased rental income streams resulted in our Average Monthly Rent (‘‘AMR’’) per unit increasing to €1,750. The portfolio is c.11% below market rents according to our independent valuers, demonstrating the resilience of our income profile and representing opportunity in the medium term.
At year end, the portfolio consisted of 3,938 (31 December 2021: 3,829) high-quality residential rental homes, with associated commercial space and development sites. The portfolio had a total value of €1,499 million, representing an increase of €5.6m from 2021. The main drivers of this increase were the delivery of Tara View and The School Yard into the portfolio along with the acquisition of 108 units at Ashbrook. However, the total portfolio value was slightly offset by a revaluation loss of €45.6 million for the year ended 31 December 2022 and this downward movement was due to upward pressure on yields, impacted by the higher interest rate environment that was evident during the second half of the year. The Group’s IFRS NAV as at 31 December 2022 amounted to €847.4 million (€881.4 million at 31 December 2021) resulting in IFRS NAV per share of 160.0c (2021: €166.5c).
Despite some yield expansion arising mainly from increasing interest rates, the underlying fundamentals remain strong as is evident in our financial performance for the year and supported by favourable structural market dynamics such as continued population growth, low unemployment levels, strong economic growth, as well as a significant undersupply of housing in Dublin. Allied with these supportive market fundamentals, the Company remains in a resilient position due to its high-quality, irreplaceable property portfolio in proven locations and our more affordable pricing proposition, which provides additional resilience through the cycle.
Active Asset Management and Portfolio Optimisation
In 2022, we continued to execute against our growth strategy along with disciplined capital management by adding incremental and sustainable value to our portfolio. We grew our portfolio unit count by c.3% in 2022 through accretive investment in acquisitions and new developments, whilst also recycling capital through selective disposals that generated attractive returns on investment for the business. Through acquisitions and development, we added 238 homes to the portfolio. We introduced 69 highly sustainable A rated apartments and townhouses at Tara View, 85% of which are now leased. At The School Yard, we delivered 61 LEED Gold sustainability accredited apartments which were fully leased shortly after launch, further underlining the market demand for high-quality rental accommodation. We acquired 108 units at Ashbrook, where a further 44 apartments are currently being developed under a fixed price contract, with delivery scheduled for H2 2023.
We executed asset recycling which generated value for both the business and our shareholders, continuing our focus on active portfolio and disciplined capital management. We disposed of 128 units at Hampton Wood, for €54.5 million, representing a significant return on our original investment. We recently began a sales process of the five townhouses at Tara View, which were non-core, in late 2022. Since year end, the Company has decided to strategically dispose of the development site at Rockbrook. Looking ahead, the Company continually reviews all of the assets and their performance, while also examining opportunities that are aligned with our disciplined capital allocation strategy.
Disciplined Capital Management
The Company’s strategy continues to be supported by a robust balance sheet and strong liquidity position, with no debt maturing until April 2026 and debt repayments laddered from 2026 to 2032. The Group’s Total Gearing as of 31 December 2022 stood at 43.3% (31 December 2021: 40.7%). The year-on-year increase in total debt can be largely attributed to the acquisition of Tara View, the completion of The School Yard development and the acquisition of Ashbrook. The Company has no further material capital commitments other than the delivery of Phase 2 of Ashbrook, forecast to be delivered in H2, 2023. This is a fixed forward contract with remaining consideration of €24.1 million. The Group continues to take a pro-active approach towards balance sheet management and maintaining total gearing within the target level.
In December 2022, we executed on €275 million of interest rate swaps in relation to our Revolving Credit Facility, converting this portion of the facility into a fixed interest rate of 2.5% plus margin of 1.75%. This is in addition to the Company’s existing c.€200 million equivalent of Private Placement Notes, which are fully fixed with a weighted average fixed interest cost of 1.92% (inclusive of swap costs and excluding transaction costs). The net result is that 72% of the Company’s drawn debt is now fixed and, given the current macroeconomic market backdrop and with interest rates continuing to rise, we view this as a proactive measure that provides us with increased certainty on our borrowing costs and greater visibility on our capital expenditure over the medium-term. This brings our Weighted Average Cost of Debt to 2.6% for the year ended 31st December 2022. Notably, this is well below our Gross Yield of 5.9% as at 31 December 2022.
Our People & Technological Innovation
The completion of the internalisation in 2022 has brought together an experienced and very talented team in I-RES, who bring knowledge and skills coming from diverse backgrounds, in terms of nationality and experience. We have a very positive culture evidenced by extremely high levels of employee satisfaction and commitment compared with benchmarks, and we recognise the need to continue strengthening our culture and values to ensure retention and attraction of important talent for our business. We implement clear policies, utilise clear lines of communication and measure employee satisfaction and engagement through our employee survey. We have a strong culture underpinned by values which are at the centre of everything we do every day and in no small part due to the diverse and inclusive structure of our board, management and employees.
In I-RES, we support our employees though the provision of a good working environment, a focus on training and development, health and wellbeing initiatives and opportunities for personal development.
Our industry is transforming into one that is driven and shaped by data and technology with rapid customer behaviour change and reporting requirements. Scaling digital capabilities is already taking root at I-RES through our recent investment in a best in class, cloud-based ERP system which has provided us uniquely with an integrated operating platform which we are utilising to unlock operational and service efficiencies and drive revenue growth. We see enhancing digital capabilities as a success factor, not only for property management and resident services, but for sustainability planning and reporting.
Creating Value Responsibly
Our commitment remains on embedding sustainable and responsible business practices which is aligned with the long-term approach we take to investing in new supply, operating and maintaining our properties; while also informing how we service and interact with all our stakeholders such as our residents, employees, partners and the wider community in which we operate.
As always, we actively work towards aligning our business strategy and objectives with ESG measures that are important to growing a long-term sustainable business. Thus, our overarching goal is to ensure that we run our business with sustainability at the centre of our strategy, asset management and operations and ensuring we deliver on our commitments. In light of this and given the Company’s significant transformation over the last 18 months, we undertook a complete review of our sustainability strategy, tying together a comprehensive review of the current market backdrop with a detailed analysis of the Company’s pre-existing strategy. This review highlights several key areas where we can improve, and where we can look to maximise opportunities, and further information will be detailed in our stand-alone ESG Report to be published later in the year.
In conjunction with our sustainability strategy review, we have made critical steps towards the development of a carbon reduction roadmap for our portfolio. We have set the ambitious targets of reducing our scope 1 and scope 2 carbon emissions by 30% and 10% respectively in 2023 and we believe we are well positioned to achieve this target. We continue our work towards our goal to reduce our carbon emissions in line with the ambition and commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
We have strategically invested in a modern young portfolio of assets with an average age of 13.1 years, which has supported our residents in saving on energy costs during the recent volatile period. We will be able to leverage this strong starting position as we continue to develop out our targets for carbon emission reduction across our portfolio. In Ireland, each apartment’s energy use is contracted directly by the residents with providers. We use green energy sources for our property common areas and we have also started a joint project with residents in our portfolio to collect data for their energy use too. We will continue to assess new technologies, partner engagement and other measures to collect data on our energy consumption with the aim of having 100% coverage in 2 years. We have no waste going to landfill with great success on recycling and have active communication, training and engagement plans operating with our employees and residents through our Green Ambassadors programme.
In 2022, we achieved some significant sustainability milestones. We were delighted to retain our EPRA Sustainability Best Practices Recommendations (‘‘sBPR’’) Gold Award. We also improved our overall scoring in Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (‘’GRESB’’), an industry-leading global assessor of the ESG performance of real estate assets by 6 percentage points against last year. We continuously review ratings and benchmarks to promote transparency to all stakeholders, thus we have completed our first submission to Carbon Disclosure Project (‘‘CDP’’). We are focused on initiatives which will improve our score over the coming years. Our ambition is to continue to improve these scores on an annual basis, ensuring that our ESG performance is transparent. This transparency also provides stakeholders with the confidence that we are turning our commitments and targets into action and that we are delivering on our ambition to be a sustainability leader in our sector.
All of this progress reflects our continued commitment to further enhance our ESG practices for the benefit of our people, our residents and our communities, as well as further signifying our ambition to continuously be aware of our impact on the planet in carrying out our business.
Housing in Ireland remains a significant societal challenge as the significant imbalance of supply and demand persists. In 2021, the Government published its ‘‘Housing For All’’ policy, which sets out its vision for the future of housing in Ireland. One of the core strategic objectives of the policy is to increase supply by 300,000 units (including 54,000 affordable homes for purchase or rent and over 90,000 social homes) over the nine years to 2030. This objective equates to approximately 33,000 housing completions per year; however, recent estimates from the Housing Commission suggest that Ireland needs up to 62,000 new homes per year until 2050 to meet demand. Just under 30,000 units were delivered in 2022, and whilst a very welcome increase of 45% on 2021, it is evident that supply is likely to continue to lag demand over the medium term. The Government will require both an increase in capacity and enhanced cooperation with the private sector, including increased investment, in order to deliver on its objective.
In the current macroeconomic environment of rising costs and supply chain pressures, it is difficult for contractors to price the likely cost of a future development. Lengthy and difficult planning permission and detailed design specifications from the outset add significant complexity to scale developments. Furthermore, rising interest rates add to uncertainty over borrowing costs. With these dynamics posing a challenge to viability, the Government and real estate sector in Ireland are focused on a range of initiatives to improve the environment for rental and to buy going forward, including changes to planning laws, innovation in construction techniques and financial supports.
In 2021, legislation was introduced which capped rent increases at 2% per annum, where the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (‘‘HICP’’) inflation is higher, in all Rent Pressure Zones. The regulatory period continues to the end of 2024. Our rental growth of 6.5% in 2022 is driven by two sources – renewals and reletting which are capped per the legislation, and delivery of new schemes with rents in line with current market. Our average rents across our portfolio are estimated to be c.11% below market rents per independent valuers estimates and in Dublin where most of our properties are located our average rents are c.13% below the Q2 2022 RTB quarterly rent index(3).
We are conscious that the year ahead will be impacted by ongoing macroeconomic challenges and geo-political uncertainty. Despite these headwinds, we believe the market fundamentals that support our business remain very strong. Our homes continuously see a high level of demand which is evidenced by our exceptional occupancy rates. This demand for high-quality residential accommodation is supported by underlying structural drivers such as continued population growth, strong employment levels, strong underlying economic growth ahead of European average and Ireland’s ability to remain an attractive location for FDI.
I-RES will continue to play a key role in delivering housing solutions to the Irish market over the long term. We are acutely aware of the challenges our residents may face with inflationary pressures and cost of living increases and we are focused on ensuring our residential units with full service represent value-for-money in modern energy-efficient properties. The security and longevity of our income is important to ensuring visibility on our income stream and underpins our dividend policy.
Although we are seeing yield expansion across real estate markets, yield spreads in Ireland have been considerably wider than in many other European markets3F(4). In addition, many sectors, particularly the residential sector in Ireland see a significant undersupply and demonstrate exceptionally strong fundamentals which in turn is helping to sustain rental cashflows and returns.
I-RES is well positioned to meet the challenges of rising inflation, increased cost of living, energy prices and interest rate rises, whilst capitalising on the powerful fundamentals and growth drivers that exist in the private rental sector. These market drivers, coupled with the clear strengths of the business, high-quality rental accommodation, strong liquidity position, robust balance sheet and extended debt maturity profile, positions the business to continue to deliver for our investors and our stakeholders in the period ahead.
I would like to thank our many partners and stakeholders who support us every day to make this business a success. In particular, I would like to thank our management and employees, the team dedicated to providing high standards of service and supporting our residents who are central to our business, with unstinting commitment despite the many challenges of today’s environment. I am grateful to the support we receive from our shareholders, funding partners and business partners on an ongoing basis.
Finally, I would like to thank our Chairman and Board for their support and guidance as well as their focus on the strategic development of this company underpinned by strong governance.
Chief Executive Officer
The financial year under review represents a very significant year for I-RES. I would firstly like to thank all my colleagues, residents, advisors, funding partners, vendors and shareholders in supporting a milestone year for the Company. We have achieved record levels of revenue, completed the internalisation of the management company, a significant strategic milestone for the business and delivered on a significant portion of our pipeline while also identifying and closing on accretive capital recycling opportunities.
Revenue for 2022 was €84.9 million, 6.5% ahead of 2021. This was driven by the delivery of our pipeline of assets at Tara View and the School Yard, the acquisition of Ashbrook, increased occupancy and organic rental growth. On a like for like basis revenue increased 4% reflective of the legislative cap on rental increases - boosted by increased occupancy which stood at 99.4% at year end and full year impact of Phoenix Park acquisition. This strong occupancy level demonstrates the underlying fundamental demand for well managed private rental accommodation in Ireland, particularly in Dublin.
Adjusted EBITDA grew 4.7% to €54.2 million, driven by the strong operational performance of the business. EPRA Earnings decreased marginally in the year to €30.9 million primarily due to costs associated with internalisation. Adjusted EPRA earnings have reduced by 1.1%, driven by our higher financing costs. Our total investment property portfolio has risen to €1.5 billion, driven by the delivery on a number of assets noted above but offset by a fair value loss of €45.6 million representing a softening of yields in the market.
The Group currently has two financing facilities, c.€200 million of Private Placement Notes and a €600 million Revolving Credit Facility (RCF). The private placement notes were executed in 2020. At year end, €457 million of the RCF was drawn. In light of the increasing interest rate market and volatility, on 14 December 2022, the Company entered into hedging arrangements in respect of its Revolving Credit Facility (RCF), specifically interest rate swap agreements aggregating to €275 million until maturity of the facility, converting this portion of the facility into a fixed interest rate of 2.5% plus margin of 1.75%. This is in addition to the Company’s existing c.€200m equivalent of Private Placement Notes, which is fully fixed with a weighted average fixed interest rate of 1.92% (inclusive of swap costs and excluding transaction costs). As of the year end, approximately 72% of the Company's drawn debt is now fixed against interest rate volatility. The remaining 28% of our drawn facilities is variable based on EURIBOR.
The proposed additional dividend for the year is 2.81 cent per share, taking the total dividend for the year to 5.11 cent per share. This is a decrease of 12% which is primarily driven by a reduction in our interim dividend earlier this year which reflected the impact of the one-off costs associated with the internalisation and also the increase in financing costs incurred as a result of increasing interest rates in the second half of the year.
Operational and Financial Results
Net Rental Income and Profit for the year ended
(1) Vacancy loss of €1.2 million (31 December 2021: €1.5 million) for the year ended 31 December 2022.
(2) The non-recurring costs of €5.7 million and general and administrative expenses of €11.5 million incurred in 2022 totals the general and administrative expense costs of €17.2] million reflected in the Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2022.
(3) Adjusted EBITDA represents earnings before lease interest, financing costs, depreciation of property, plant and equipment, gain or loss on disposal of investment property, net movement in fair value of investment properties, gain or loss on derivative financial instruments and non-recurring expenses to show the underlying operating performance of the Group.
For the year ended 31 December 2022, total operating revenue increased to €84.9 million, a 6.5% increase compared to the previous year. This significant increase is driven by the acquisition of 108 units at Ashbrook and the development of 69 and 61 units at Tara View and the School Yard respectively. Increasing occupancy and organic rental growth also aided I-RES surpassing €80 million in revenue for the first time.
Net Rental Income
The NRI margin has been presented as the Company believes this measure is indicative of the Group’s operating performance. For the year ended 31 December 2022, NRI margin decreased by 1.6% to 77.5%. One component of this reduction is increased property taxes incurred by the Group due to additional units being brought into scope for local property tax. Post-acquisition of the ‘‘Manager’’, the external Property Management Fee (PMF) terminated and was replaced by employee and IT costs. We have seen some moderation in the margin due to increased employee, utilities and repairs and maintenance costs. We are aware of the continued cost pressures facing all businesses and are continuing on our path of cost optimisation and margin control into 2023.
Adjusted General and Administrative (“G&A”) Expenses
Adjusted G&A expenses include costs such as employees’ salaries, director fees, professional fees for audit, legal and advisory services, depository fees, property valuation fees, insurance costs and other general and administrative expenses. Non-recuring costs explained below are not included in this caption. G&A has increased slightly in the period due to additional spend on depository fees, professional fees and insurance.
Non-recurring G&A costs total €5.7 million for the first 6 months of 2022. No additional non-recurring costs were incurred in the second half of the year. These costs are primarily legal, IT programme, consulting and investment bank advisory fees that relate to the termination of the Investment Management Agreement and other one off third-party advisory services. As noted in the 2021 annual report, we estimated €1.8 million of non-recurring costs for 2022 associated with Internalisation (not including the Transitional Services Agreement fees (TSA)). We ultimately recorded €4.4 million of costs in 2022 in relation to termination of the Investment Management Agreement. This expense item increased from our earlier estimates due to higher than anticipated legal costs and additional IT costs associated with the complex nature of the internalisation and IT projects. These costs include costs associated with CBI approval for the acquisition of IRES Fund Management Limited, costs associated with this acquisition, legal and investment bank advisory fees, implementation of our new property management and financial reporting system and a complex data migration from CAPREIT IT systems. In addition, the transitional services agreement with CAPREIT totalled €1.3 million.
Net movement in fair value of Investment Properties
I-RES recognises its investment properties at fair value at each reporting period, with any unrealised gain or loss on remeasurement recognised in the profit or loss account. For the year ended 31 December 2022, the fair value loss on investment properties of €45.6 million is mainly attributed to a softening of yields driven by wider market fundamentals including increased interest rates. Our Gross Yield was 5.9% at year-end compared against a weighted average cost of debt of 2.6%.
Financing costs, which include the amortisation of certain financing expenses, interest and commitment fees, increased for the year ended 31 December 2022 to €16.8 million from €13.9 million in 2021. The financing costs have increased as a result of higher borrowings in 2022, driven by drawdowns to fund the Ashbrook acquisition, School Yard development and completion of the Tara View acquisition. Financing costs were also impacted by interest rate rises in the latter part of the year. Capital recycling is also used to manage our financing costs and we disposed of Hampton Wood for €54.5 million with the proceeds used to repay the RCF.
As mentioned above, on 14 December 2022, the Company entered into hedging arrangements in respect of its Revolving Credit Facility. Interest rate swap agreements aggregating to €275 million until maturity of the facility have been entered into with a number of the counterparties forming the syndicate of banks in the RCF. These arrangements convert €275 million of the facility into a fixed interest rate of 2.5% plus margin of 1.75%. At 31 December 2022, €457 million was drawn from the €600 million facility.
In 2020, I-RES entered into a cross-currency swap to (i) hedge the US-based loan of USD $75 million into €68.9 million effective 11 March 2020 and (ii) convert the fixed interest rate on the US-based loan to a fixed Euro interest rate, maturing on 10 March 2027 and 10 March 2030. Hedge accounting has been applied for the cross- currency swap.
Property Portfolio Overview
The following table provides details of the Group’s property portfolio as at 31 December 2022.
(1) As at 31 December 2022.
(2) Based on residential units.
(3) AMR is calculated as actual monthly residential rents, net of vacancies, as at the stated date, divided by the total number of residential units owned in the property. Actual monthly residential rents, net of vacancies, as at 31 December 2022 was €6,857,213 divided by 3,938 units (which is the total units available for lease as at 31 December 2022) resulting in AMR of €1,750. Refer to pages 15 to 16 for further discussion on average monthly rent per apt. and occupancy.
(4) Refer to pages 15 to 16 for further discussion on average monthly rent per apt. and occupancy. The calculations exclude 9 units provided to house Ukrainian refugees and 6 units at Bakers Yard that were not available for rent from total properties owned as they are due to be sold as part of our Part V obligations.
(5) I-RES’s external valuers indicated that I-RES’s current rents (on a weighted average basis for the portfolio) as at 31 December 2022 are estimated to be approximately below market by c.11%%.
The Company continues to explore opportunities for growth and our long-term strategy is focused on delivering growth for the business through;
During 2022, we have delivered on each aspect of our strategy as further detailed below. Moving forward we will continue to assess opportunities as they arise. Given the current market fundamentals of rising interest rates, market volatility and capital allocation we continue to also explore opportunities to recycle capital in the business as evidenced by the disposal of our property at Hampton Wood.
Ashbrook, Clontarf, Dublin 3 (152 Residential Units)
I-RES entered into two contracts in December 2021 for the acquisition of 152 residential units located in Ashbrook, Clontarf, Dublin. 86 units were acquired on closing in January 2022 with a further 22 units acquired in May 2022. The Company has committed to acquire 44 new apartments under a fixed price forward purchase contract, with delivery anticipated in Q4, 2023. The remaining consideration is €24.1 million.
The property is located in the north Dublin suburb of Clontarf. The scheme occupies an attractive position close to Dublin City Centre (circa 4km), with easy access to the M50 motorway. There are excellent public transport links to the City Centre, with Clontarf and Killester train stations within walking distance and high frequency bus services at the entrance to the property. Clontarf is a much sought after and mature residential location, providing some of Dublin's finest amenities, including schools, sporting facilities, parks, local shopping and employment.
School Yard, Portland Street North, Dublin 1 (61 Residential Units)
This development of 61 residential units at a site adjacent to Bakers Yard has been completed for a total consideration of €21.8 million (including VAT but excluding other transaction costs). All units in the development have now been leased with residents moving in from the end of July. School Yard has been delivered to LEED Gold certification, with all units BER rated A and serve as an important blueprint for future schemes. This specification will help drive down energy consumption, improve efficiency and create healthier living places for our residents. The property is located within a 20 minute walk of Dublin city centre and has easy access to the IFSC and Docklands areas as well as universities. It is well serviced by bus networks.
Forward Purchase Contract at Merrion Road, Dublin 4 – Tara View (69 Residential Units)
I-RES entered into a contract on 16 November 2018 for the forward purchase of 69 residential units at Merrion Road at a cost of €47.1 million (including VAT but excluding other transaction costs). Construction commenced in 2019 and we closed on the acquisition in August 2022.
The property is located in a prime waterfront position circa 7km from Dublin City and is well serviced by Dublin Bus and DART rail services. The property is located close to excellent amenities including schools, universities and numerous hospitals (St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Blackrock Clinic) in the immediate vicinity. The area also benefits from a number of leisure facilities with Elm Park Golf and Sports Club, Railway Union Sports Club and Blackrock Park on its doorstep.
Value creation from existing assets
We continue to identify opportunities to create value from our existing asset base. In August, we completed the disposal of our Hampton Wood development of 128 units in Finglas for €54.5 million. This represents a significant return on our investment and highlights the returns we can create from our asset management strategy.
We are also in the process of selling 5 non-core houses at our Tara View development. At the year end, we had completed the disposal of 1 house for a price c.€1.2 million and subsequent to year end we have completed the disposal of an additional house for consideration of c.€1.2 million. We expect the remaining units to complete shortly. Since year end, the Company has decided to strategically dispose of the development site at Rockbrook.
Financing and Capital Structure
I-RES takes a proactive approach to its debt strategy to ensure the Group has laddering of debt maturities and the Group’s leverage ratio and interest coverage ratio are maintained at a sustainable level.
Our capital structure remains strong, with LTV at 43.3%. which is below the 50% maximum allowed by the Irish REIT Regime and the Group’s debt financial leverage ratio. I-RES seeks to use gearing to enhance shareholder returns over the long term.
Our debt facilities are made up of our €600 million Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) and the circa €200 million (Euro Equivalent) Private Placement Notes. On 11 February 2022, the Company exercised an option for an extension of our RCF with all five banks (Ulster Bank Ireland DAC, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank, Barclays Bank plc and HSBC Bank plc) for the entire €600 million facility with a new maturity date of 18 April 2026. On 18 July, Ulster Bank Ireland DAC assigned its portion of the facility agreement to Allied Irish Banks PLC as part of its exit from the Irish market.
The Private Placement Notes were closed in March 2020 and are made up of €130 million fixed interest and $75 million which I-RES on closing entered into a cross currency interest rate swap with a weighted average fixed interest rate of 1.92% inclusive of swap costs and excluding transaction costs. The maturity of the notes is laddered over circa six, nine and eleven-year maturities, with the first repayment due in March 2027.
As previously noted, on 14 December 2022, the Company entered into hedging arrangements in respect of its Revolving Credit Facility. Interest rate swap agreements aggregating to €275 million until maturity of the facility have been entered into with a number of the counterparties forming the syndicate of banks in the RCF. These arrangements convert €275 million of the facility into a fixed interest rate of 2.5% plus margin of 1.75%. Therefore, in conjunction with the Private Placement Notes, approximately 72% of the Company's total drawn debt is fixed against interest rate volatility as at 31 December 2022.
The Group has a weighted average debt maturity of 4.2 years and no debt maturities before April 2026. The weighted average cost of debt is 2.61% for 2022 including deferred financing costs (31 December 2021: 2.30%). I-RES also has undrawn committed facilities of €143 million available under the RCF for investment and €7 million of cash and cash equivalents as at 31 December 2022. Beyond the remaining €24.1 million for the forward purchase of 44 residential units at Ashbrook, there is no other current capital commitments.
I-RES's borrowings are as follows:
(1) The principal amount of USD notes is $75 million. The movement relates to foreign exchange movements. I-RES has entered into cross currency swap to fix this at €68.9 million.
(2) Includes commitment fee of 0.7% per annum charged on the undrawn portion of the RCF facility and deferred financing cost amortised per annum
Summary and outlook
2022 has been a very positive year for I-RES, underlined by a strong operational performance with significant growth in our rental income and delivery of growth in the portfolio. We have also completed the internalisation of the business and continue to enhance our technological platform. We head into 2023 well placed to deal with the headwinds we face. We have actively managed our balance sheet including the recent interest rate swaps giving us a significant portion of our debt fixed with no maturities until 2026. We are well positioned going into 2023 with our excellent operational model, robust balance sheet and strong underlying market fundamentals.
Chief Financial Officer
24 February 2023
Business Performance Measures