Equitativa, manager of Emirates REIT reported unaudited Q1 financial results for Emirates REIT for the period ended 31 March 2018
Emirates REIT had strong quarterly results, including a solid 21 per cent growth in EBITDA over Q1 2017. The REIT’s portfolio increased to $870 million at the end of the first quarter 2018. Net Asset Value as at 31 March 2018 was $520 million or $1.73 per share.
Emirates REIT’s Property Operating Income increased by 23 per cent, reflecting Equitativa’s active management and selective approach to asset acquisitions.
Key highlights of the quarter are the high performance of the European Business Center, the completion of additional fit-out in Index Offices, and Index Mall’s leasing.
The European Business Center, acquired in Q3 2017, achieved a seven per cent rent increase during Q1 2018. This increase is mainly due to the active management since acquisition, focusing on improving and repositioning the building, which started to align with the market rates.
Index Tower achieved a 38 per cent growth in rental income compared to Q1 2017, and tenants of the Index Mall are now starting their fit-out.
“Despite a challenging real estate market, Emirates REIT achieved a significant 23 per cent year-on-year growth in total property operating income, which included strong organic growth of 12 per cent from the existing portfolio,” said Sylvain Vieujot, Group Chairman of Equitativa.
The successful issuance of the Sukuk in December 2017 has protected the REIT from the rising interest rate environment for the next five years. Further to this transaction, Equitativa has deployed part of the additional funds from the Sukuk issuance in May 2018 to acquire the Lycée Français Jean Mermoz, which has already started contributing income and is expected to deliver a high yield and stable cash flow.
On 15 May, Emirates REIT acquired the Lycée Français Jean Mermoz for AED 75 million on a sale and lease-back arrangement for 27 years. The acquisition of this school increases the REIT’s exposure to the education sector, which delivers high yield and stable income.
“We continue to drive rental growth and in the current market we see significant upside in acquisitions.
We are therefore confident of continuing to deliver growing returns and benefit from the current environment to grow Emirates REIT’s portfolio with the acquisition of quality high-yielding assets,” Vieujot added.
Equitativa recommends the distribution of the Final Dividend for 2017, of $0.04 per share, which should be distributed by 30 June 2018.
Upon approval of the Shareholders during the Annual General Meeting 2018, the shareholders on the register on 14 June 2018 will be able to benefit from this dividend distribution.
In total, shareholders will have received a dividend of $0.08 per share for the financial year 2017.