Paris, Amsterdam, July 27, 2023
UNIBAIL-RODAMCO-WESTFIELD REPORTS H1-2023 EARNINGS
H1-2023 AREPS up +6.6% year-on-year driven by Shopping Centres and Offices performance and reduced general and financial expenses
Operational performance and further debt reduction leading to improved
Net debt to EBITDA at 9.4x
Successful exchange offer of the PERP-NC23 hybrid, a first of its kind by a corporate issuer, with a 92% participation rate, confirming debt market confidence
Westfield Rise, URW’s retail media agency in Europe drives new revenue growth with +14% in net margin vs. H1-2022
H1-2023 in review:
- Shopping Centre Net Rental Income at €1,059 Mn up +8.5%1 on a like-for-like basis, including +4.5% of indexation impact
- Tenant sales up +9% and footfall up +7% vs. H1-2022
- High rent collection at 96%
- Shopping Centre occupancy improved by 20 bps vs. FY-2022 with vacancy at 6.3%
- €219 Mn of Minimum Guaranteed Rent (MGR) signed (+11% vs. H1-2022), with an uplift of +12.5% on top of indexed passing rents, including +17.6% on long-term deals
- Offices & Others Net Rental Income of €41 Mn, up +17.1% on a like-for-like basis, driven by leasing progress of Trinity at prime rent level for La Défense market
- EBITDA at €1,157 Mn, back to pre-COVID levels on a like-for-like basis
- Further asset disposals2 secured in the US and Europe increasing the total IFRS net debt reduction since 2021 to €4.7 Bn at Group level (from €4.2 Bn), with ongoing active discussions in Europe and on US Regional assets
- H1-2023 IFRS Net Financial Debt reduced to €20.5 Bn with reduced cost of debt at 1.8%
- More than 36 months of liquidity secured with €11.9 Bn3, including €3.8 Bn of cash on hand
- 2023 AREPS at the upper end of full-year guidance of €9.30 to €9.50, reflecting strong underlying operational performance
Commenting on the results, Jean-Marie Tritant, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“URW delivered very solid financial results in H1-2023 that demonstrate the strength of our assets and the quality of our operations and teams.
During the half, we signed a record number of leases with an increasing proportion of long-term deals and saw a 12.5% uplift in rents.
Our sales continue to outperform the market thanks to the location of our assets, the quality of our customer base and our diversified retail mix.
We are excited by the success of Westfield Rise, our European retail media agency, which saw a +14% increase in net margin, driven by increased footfall and higher average revenue per visit.
Our successful hybrid exchange offer, accepted by over 90% of holders, confirms the confidence of the debt market in URW as does the confirmation of our credit ratings by S&P and Moody’s.
We also made further deleveraging progress in 2023 in a constrained investment market, securing a €0.5 Bn contribution to IFRS net debt reduction taking the total amount since 2021 to €4.7 Bn.
Our performance in the first half builds on the strong platform we established in 2022, and we are confident this momentum will continue throughout 2023 and our AREPS will be at the upper end of our full-year guidance.”
|Net Rental Income (in € Mn)||1,152||1,139||+1.1%||+8.2%5|
|Offices & Others||41||36||+15.6%||+17.1%|
|Convention & Exhibition||52||68||-23.0%||n.m.|
|EBITDA (in € Mn)||1,157||1,139||+1.6%|
|Recurring net result (in € Mn)||757||711||+6.5%|
|Recurring EPS (in €)||5.45||5.12||+6.3%|
|Adjusted Recurring EPS (in €)||5.28||4.95||+6.6%|
|June 30, 2023||Dec. 31, 2022||Growth||Like-for-like growth|
| Proportionate portfolio valuation
(in € Mn)
| EPRA Net Reinstatement Value
(in € per stapled share)
Figures may not add up due to rounding
H1-2023 AREPS: €5.28
Reported AREPS amounted to €5.28, up +6.6% compared to H1-2022, mainly driven by the strong operational performance in retail and offices, and supported by reduced general and financial expenses. AREPS was partly offset by disposals and lower C&E activity due to seasonality effects.
Like-for-like shopping centre NRI6 was up by +8.5% for the Group, and by +12.5% in Continental Europe, +9.4% in the UK and up +1.4% for US Flagships. US Regional and CBD assets were down -9.8%7. This overall increase is mainly due to the positive impact of indexation in Continental Europe (+6.7%) where all rents are indexed on a yearly basis, positive leasing activity contribution and higher variable income.
H1-2023 tenant sales8 were up +9.2% compared to H1-2022, including +11.8% in Continental Europe, +6.8% in the UK and +4.6% in the US9. Sales continued to outperform footfall, reflecting the productive nature of visitors to URW’s centres. Footfall10 was up +7.3%, including +8.2% in Continental Europe, +9.2% in the UK and +2.7% in the US9.
In H1-2023, European tenant sales were up +10.9% compared to H1-2022, above core inflation of 5.7% and national sales indices of 2.6%11, demonstrating that URW centres continue to gain market share. H1-2023 saw a strong increase in the performance of social and experience-led activities, with Fitness-related tenant sales up +35.7%, Entertainment up +22.4% and F&B up +17.1%, while Health & Beauty and Fashion continued to perform strongly, up +17.7% and +9.7% respectively.
In the US, Flagships tenant sales12 were up +4.6% in H1-2023, performing above the US National Sales index, which was up 4.3%11. As in Europe, US Flagships growth was also driven by the performance of experience-led sectors, including Entertainment (+91.4% vs. H1-2022), F&B (+20.6%), Fitness (+10.9%) and Health & Beauty (+9.0%). Fashion sales decreased slightly by -2.0% and Luxury by -6.8% but both remained above 2019 levels (+14.0% and +87.9% respectively).
Rent collection13 amounted to 96% for H1-2023 (vs. 96% and 95% initially reported in H1-2022 and in Q1-2023 respectively), both in Europe and in the US. Net of bankruptcies, H1-2023 rent collection stands at 97% in Europe and for the Group. URW continued to collect 2022 rents, leading to an improvement of 2022 rent collection from 97% to 98% between FY-2022 and H1-2023.
Bankruptcies increased in H1-2023 to 211 stores returning to a normalised level as government support and rent relief provided during the COVID period came to an end. More than a quarter of stores affected were in France. 84% of units affected saw their tenant still in place and 5% were relet, limiting the impact of bankruptcies on H1-2023 vacancy.
In terms of leasing activity, the Group signed 1,180 leases for €219 Mn of MGR14 (+11% compared to H1-2022) during H1-2023 with an MGR uplift of +12.5% (vs. +2.6% in H1-2022) reflecting the effectiveness of the Group’s leasing strategy and the strong appeal for URW assets. The proportion of long-term deals signed also increased from 74% of MGR signed in H1-2022 to 78% in H1-2023. The MGR uplift for leases longer than 36 months came to +17.6% for the Group, on top of indexed passing rents, with Continental Europe at +6.5%, the UK at +20.1% and the US at +38.8%.
On a like-for-like basis, Sales Based Rents (SBR)15 increased in total by +8.5% in H1-2023 vs. H1-2022 thanks to strong retailers’ sales performance including inflation, with +€10.0 Mn in Continental Europe, -€0.4 Mn in the UK and -€5.7 Mn in the US due to high SBR settlement in H1-2022 and conversion of SBR to MGR in the UK and in the US.
Vacancy for Shopping Centres at Group level decreased to 6.3% at H1-2023, down from 6.5% at FY-2022 and 6.9% at H1-2022, thanks to the Group’s proactive leasing approach.
In Continental Europe, vacancy was at 3.6%, below the 3.8% in Q1-2023 due to good leasing activity but up from 3.1% in December 2022. This was due to the normalised level of bankruptcies, and to the expiry of short-term deals in Germany and Austria which relied more on these deals during COVID.
In the UK, vacancy decreased from 9.4% in December 2022 to 8.5% in June 2023 thanks to strong leasing activity.
In the US, vacancy reduced to 9.9% in June 2023 from 10.4% in December 2022, with vacancy decreasing by -30 bps to 7.9% for US Flagships, close to pre-COVID level of 2019 (7.7%).
Retail Media & other income
Revenue from Retail Media & other income16 increased from €50.4 Mn in H1-2022 to €55.6 Mn in H1-2023, driven by the launch of Westfield Rise in Europe, an in-house media, brand experience and data partnerships agency. Total Westfield Rise activity in Europe amounted to €19.6 Mn in net margin at 100% in H1-2023, up +14% compared to H1-2022.
Offices & Others
Office NRI increased by +15.6% at Group level (+17.1% on a like-for-like basis), driven by the leasing progress at Trinity in La Défense and the delivery of Gaîté Montparnasse offices, partly offset by 2022 and H1-2023 disposals, currency effects and assets in pipeline.
Three new leases (Teamwill, IRI and Axway) were signed for Trinity in H1-2023. Trinity is now 85% let, at an average rent of c. €568/sqm, with lease incentives below the market average. In addition,
1,400 sqm17 were leased at Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier offices, bringing the letting17 of the office component to be delivered in 2024 to 34%.
Convention & Exhibition
H1-2023 confirmed the strong recovery of the C&E activity observed in 2022. During the period, Viparis hosted 305 events compared to 272 events in H1-2022 and 386 events in H1-2019.
Convention & Exhibition recurring NOI in the first half amounted to €71.1 Mn compared to €94.5 Mn in H1-2022 and €87.6 Mn in H1-2019, reflecting the change in seasonality patterns for events organised following COVID disruption. Restated from the French State contribution received in 2022 and from triennial shows (held in 2018 and 2022), the NOI was up +5.2% compared to H1-2022.
As at June 30, 2023, signed and pre-booked events in Viparis venues for 2023 amounted to 95% of its expected 2023 rental income.
In 2023 year-to-date, the Group secured further asset disposals in the US and Europe, reaching
$1.6 Bn (€1.4 Bn) in total proceeds in the US, and completing €3.3 Bn of its €4.0 Bn European asset disposal programme, corresponding to total disposal proceeds of €4.7 Bn since 2021.
In Europe, URW completed the sale of the “V” office building located in Versailles, France at €95 Mn, in line with the last unaffected appraisal value, with a double-digit IRR and a net initial yield of 5.7%.
On July 11, 2023, the Group signed an agreement for the sale of Novotel Lyon Confluence in France.
The Group is in active discussions in relation to several European assets in a constrained investment market.
In the US, the Group also continued to streamline its US Regional portfolio. On February 1, 2023, the Group completed the sale of its ground lease for Westfield North County located in Escondido, California, for $57 Mn (at 100%, URW share 55%). On May 25, 2023, the Group announced the sale of Westfield Brandon, located in Brandon, Florida for $220 Mn (URW share 100%) reflecting a 10.0% net initial yield and a 4.4% discount to the last unaffected appraisal.
Since the end of H1-2023, the Group has sold the Westfield Mission Valley shopping centres in San Diego, California for a sale price of $290 Mn (at 100%, URW share 42%). The transaction value reflects a combined initial yield of 8.5% on the in-place NOI and a 12% discount to the last unaffected appraisal.
The Group has started the process which will lead to the planned sale or foreclosure of 2 of its US assets, respectively Westfield Valencia Town Center, with a debt amount of $195 Mn at 100% ($97.5 Mn URW share) as at June 30, 2023, and San Francisco Centre with a debt amount of $558 Mn at 100% ($340 Mn URW share). The book value at URW share of these assets was close to or below their debt amounts as at June 30, 2023 at respectively $106 Mn and $301 Mn.
Including these disposals and planned foreclosures, the total amount of net debt reduction stands at €0.5 Bn on an IFRS basis and €0.9 Bn on a proportionate basis.
The Group is highly focused on its deleveraging plan, securing the remaining €0.7 Bn of its European disposal programme by the end of the year and further streamlining of US Regional portfolio. Once completed, it will pursue a disciplined asset rotation policy.
The radical reduction of the Group’s US financial exposure remains its path forward. URW’s operational performance, in particular in the US, as well as its controlled cost of debt, ample liquidity position and capex control give it flexibility on when it executes this plan.
DELIVERIES & PIPELINE
As a result of deliveries in H1-2023 and project cost evolution on some of the committed projects, the Total Investment Cost (TIC)18 of URW’s development pipeline remained stable compared to December 31, 2022 at €3.1 Bn.
The Group delivered 2 projects in May 2023: a 19,360 sqm extension to Garbera shopping centre in San Sebastian, Spain and the completion of Westfield Les 4 Temps renovation project of the centre’s main plaza “La Clairière”.
Committed projects amount to €2.4 Bn, of which €1.4 Bn has already been invested. The main projects are the mixed used development in Hamburg (Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier), the office project of Lightwell in Paris La Défense, the residential project of Coppermaker Square, and the Triangle project in Paris.
In H2-2023, URW plans to deliver Coppermaker Square Retail (a 7,437 sqm leisure development adjacent to Westfield Stratford City), and the restructuring of the former El Corte Inglés unit, located in the extension area of Westfield Parquesur, with more than 14,954 sqm to extend Inditex brands. The average pre-letting19 of these projects stands at 83%.
The proportionate Gross Market Value (GMV) of the Group’s assets as at June 30, 2023, decreased by -2.3% to €51.0 Bn from €52.2 Bn as at December 31, 2022, mainly as a result of a like-for-like portfolio revaluation of -€1,019 Mn and disposals (-€343 Mn), partly offset by Capex, Acquisitions and Transfers (+€574 Mn). Like-for-like shopping centres valuations were down -1.9% for H1-2023 including a yield impact of -4.8% and a rent impact of +2.9% as appraisers increased their assumption of discount and exit cap rates.
The EPRA Net Reinstatement Value per share came to €150.70 as at June 30, 2023, down from €155.70 (-3.2%) compared to December 31, 2022, mainly driven by the revaluation of investment properties, and partly offset by the retained recurring results.
As at June 30, 2023, the Group’s IFRS net financial debt decreased to €20.5 Bn from €20.7 Bn as at December 31, 2022.
The Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio increased from 41.2% to 41.9% and 41.7% pro-forma for the receipt of the proceeds from the additional disposals secured to date or planned foreclosures20.
On a proportionate basis, the LTV would be almost stable compared to FY-2022 at 43.0% pro-forma for the secured disposals and planned foreclosures.
Net debt/EBITDA21 ratio decreased to 9.4x (vs. 9.6x in FY-2022), the Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR) increased to 4.4x (vs. 4.2x in FY-2022), and Funds from Operations to Net Financial Debt (FFO/NFD) ratio improved to 8.3% (vs. 7.6% in FY-2022).
Over H1-2023, URW raised €653 Mn (€721 Mn on a proportionate basis) of medium to long-term funds in the mortgage and bank markets (including credit facility renewals), further strengthening its liquidity position.
On June 26, 2023, the Group successfully completed an any-and-all par-for-par Exchange Offer on its €1.25 Bn hybrid Perp-NC23 notes (“Old Notes”) into a combination of (i) new Euro denominated Perp-NC28 hybrid notes with a coupon of 7.25% (“New Notes”) and (ii) a cash amount when applicable.
The first of its kind by a corporate issuer, the Exchange Offer had a participation rate of 92%, corresponding to €1.15 Bn of Old Notes exchanged on July 3, 2023 into €995 Mn New Notes and €155 Mn of cash paid (the Cash Amount).
Accordingly, the Group’s overall hybrid portfolio will decrease to €1,845 Mn (corresponding to a reduction of 7.76%).
The Group’s liquidity position reached €11.9 Bn (€12.0 Bn on a proportionate basis) including cash on hand of €3.8 Bn (€4.0 Bn on a proportionate basis), allowing the Group to fully secure its debt maturities for more than the next 36 months.
The Group’s average debt maturity22 stood at 8.0 years.
The Group’s average cost of debt decreased from 2.0% to 1.8%, representing a blended average cost of 1.3% for Euro denominated debt and 3.9% for USD and GBP denominated debt, as a result of improved cash remuneration on its increasing cash position and a stable cost of gross debt thanks to hedges in place.
URW is on track to meet its Better Places 2030 targets, including reducing carbon emissions across its value chain by 50% between 2015 and 2030. The Group is committed to contributing to global carbon neutrality and will present a step-change update to its plan in H2-2023, with a view to establishing new commitments.
In H1-2023, the Group pursued the implementation of its renewable energy infrastructure strategy with the delivery of photovoltaic plants at Centrum Cerny Most in Czech Republic. The Group’s total installed capacity of on-site renewable energy stands at 17 MW, well above the 2025 target set in 2016 of 6.9 MW.
In April 2023, the Group launched the first edition of Westfield Good Festival throughout the 22 European Westfield malls, enabling retailers to display their sustainability initiatives and visitors to access information on sustainability and circularity.
In view of the H1-2023 strong operating performance dynamic, the deleveraging progress in line with guidance, the controlled cost of debt, the reduced general expenses and the visibility on the terms of the hybrid, 2023 AREPS will be at the upper end of the Group’s guidance23 of €9.30 to €9.50.
The next financial events on the Group’s calendar will be:
October 10, 2023: Sustainability Investor Event
October 26, 2023: Q3 trading update
February 8, 2024: FY-2023 results
For further information, please contact:
+33 7 63 45 59 77
+33 6 10 95 85 84
Cornelia Schnepf – Finelk
+44 7387 108 998
Sonia Fellmann – PLEAD
+33 6 27 84 91 30
Molly Morse – Kekst CNC
+ 1 212 521 4826
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is an owner, developer and operator of sustainable, high-quality real estate assets in the most dynamic cities in Europe and the United States.
The Group operates 75 shopping centres in 12 countries, including 39 which carry the iconic Westfield brand. These centres attract over 900 million visits annually and provide a unique platform for retailers and brands to connect with consumers. URW also has a portfolio of high-quality offices, 10 convention and exhibition venues in Paris, and a €3 Bn development pipeline of mainly mixed-use assets. Currently, its €51 Bn portfolio is 87% in retail, 6% in offices, 5% in convention and exhibition venues, and 2% in services (as at June 30, 2023).
URW is a committed partner to major cities on urban regeneration projects, through both mixed-use development and the retrofitting of buildings to industry-leading sustainability standards. These commitments are enhanced by the Group’s Better Places 2030 agenda, which strives to make a positive environmental, social and economic impact on the cities and communities where URW operates.
URW’s stapled shares are listed on Euronext Paris (Ticker: URW), with a secondary listing in Australia through Chess Depositary Interests. The Group benefits from a BBB+ rating from Standard & Poor’s and from a Baa2 rating from Moody’s.
For more information, please visit www.urw.com
1 Shopping Centres Lfl NRI excluding airports.
2 Include disposals completed or secured since January 2023 and planned foreclosures.
3 On an IFRS basis, including €8.0 Bn of undrawn credit facilities.
4 Like-for-like NRI: Net Rental Income excluding acquisitions, divestments, transfers to and from pipeline (extensions, brownfields or redevelopment of an asset when operations are stopped to enable works), all other changes resulting in any change to square metres and currency exchange rate differences in the periods analysed.
5 Group Lfl NRI including airports.
6 Shopping Centres Lfl NRI excluding airports.
7 Excluding airports.
8 Tenant sales for all centres (except The Netherlands) in operation, including extensions of existing assets, but excluding deliveries of new brownfield projects, newly acquired assets and assets under heavy refurbishment (Ursynów, Les Ateliers Gaîté, CNIT, Gropius Passagen and Garbera) or works in the surrounding area (Fisketorvet), excluding El Corte Inglés sales from Westfield Parquesur and La Vaguada, excluding Zlote Tarasy as this centre is not managed by URW, excluding Carrousel du Louvre and excluding Auto category for Europe and Department Stores for the US. In addition, sales have been restated from the disposals which occurred during the semester.
9 Flagships only.
10 Footfall for all centres in operation, including extensions of existing assets, but excluding deliveries of new brownfield projects, newly acquired assets and assets under heavy refurbishment (Ursynów, Les Ateliers Gaîté, CNIT, Gropius Passagen and Garbera) or works in the surrounding area (Fisketorvet), excluding Carrousel du Louvre and excluding Zlote Tarasy as this centre is not managed by URW, and excluding in the US, the centres for which no comparable data of the previous year is available. In addition, footfall has been restated from the disposals which occurred during the semester.
11 As at May 2023, for further details, please refer to the appendix to this Press Release.
12 US Regionals at +1.3%.
13 Retail only, assets at 100%. MGR + CAM in the US.
14 All letting figures exclude deals <12 months. Usual 3/6/9 leases in France are included in the long-term leases.
15 Excluding airports.
16 Group figure (Europe and US) on a proportionate basis. Retail Media & other income include both the new Media, Brand & Data Partnerships division presented during the Investor Day in March 2022 and now called “Westfield Rise” in Europe, as well as kiosks, seasonal markets, pop-ups, and car park activations (“other income”).
17 In terms of GLA.
18 URW Total Investment Cost (TIC) equals 100% TIC multiplied by URW’s percentage stake in the project, adjusted by specific own costs and income, if any. 100% TIC is expressed in value at completion. It equals the sum of: (i) all capital expenditures from the start of the project to the completion date and includes: land costs, construction costs, study costs, design costs, technical fees, tenant fitting-out costs paid for by the Group, letting fees and related costs, eviction costs and vacancy costs for renovations or redevelopments of standing assets; and (ii) opening marketing expenses. It excludes: (i) step rents and rent-free periods; (ii) capitalised financial interests; (iii) overhead costs; (iv) early or lost Net Rental Income; and (v) IFRS adjustments.
19 Based on MGR signed, all agreed to be signed and financials agreed.
20 i.e. the disposal of Novotel Lyon Confluence and Westfield Mission Valley as well as the sale or foreclosure of Westfield Valencia Town Center and San Francisco Centre.
21 On an IFRS basis and on last 12 months basis.
22 Considering the undrawn credit lines (subject to covenants) and cash on hand.
23 The Group assumes no major US disposals which are part of URW radical reduction of US financial exposure, no major energy-related restrictions and no major deterioration to the macro-economic and geopolitical environment.