Major refinancing operation carried out during the first quarter. The maturity of debt, liquidity and financing costs were significantly optimized, with the latter reduced from 2.0% at end-2021 to 1.7% at end-June 2022. The Company’s short-term debt maturities are very clearly covered by the cash position and confirmed bank lines, with the next bond maturities not due until 2026.
The divestment of two hypermarkets enables the Company to further reduce its loan to value ratio (LTV), down to 36.6% excluding transfer taxes and 34.3% including transfer taxes at end-June 2022. The portfolio value is Euro 3,122.8 million including transfer taxes, up +1.7% over six months like-for-like. The average appraisal yield rate came to 5.71%, stable compared with end-December 2021. EPRA NDV climbed +11.6% over six months to Euro 19.65 per share, reflecting the positive trend for asset values, as well as a significant impact for the change in the fair value of debt.
Following a first quarter marked by significant health, political, economic and geopolitical disruptions, retailer sales for the half-year show a trend that is very close to the normalized 2019 level, with footfall representing 88.7% of the 2019 baseline. This trend reflects the appetite among French consumers to return to physical retail. Alongside this, the attractive positioning of Mercialys’ sites was illustrated by the combination of two factors during the first half of the year. On the one hand, the sustainability of rents for retailers, with an occupancy cost ratio of 10.7% at end-June 2022 (vs. 10.4% at end 2019), despite an indexation effect of +1.9% and a rental reversion rate of +1.7%. On the other hand, a further reduction in the current financial vacancy rate, from 3.2% at end-2021 to 2.9% at end-June 2022.
Invoiced rents are up +3.2%, with +5.3% like-for-like. The EBITDA margin is still high, with 87.0% for the first half of 2022, highlighting the robust trend for rents and the effective control over costs, despite the costs resulting from the completion of the process to bring back in-house the last support functions that were previously outsourced to the Casino group.
Funds from operations (FFO) at end-June 2022 are up +3.2%.
2022 objectives: Considering the satisfactory performance levels achieved over the first half of the year, Mercialys is able to confirm its objectives, excluding the health situation’s potential impacts on its operations. These objectives are based on growth in funds from operations (FFO) per share to reach at least +2% vs. 2021 and a dividend to range from 85% to 95% of 2022 FFO.