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CLS Holdings reports solid results

CLS Holdings, the office landlord with assets in Germany, France and the UK, has posted a 1.5% uplift in NAV in full year results to the end of December 2021.

Highlights

  • EPRA net tangible assets (NTA) up 1.5% – primarily due to EPRA earnings and portfolio valuation gains, which were offset by foreign exchange losses due to the strengthening of sterling;
  • Portfolio valuation up 1.6% in local currency with increases in all regions (3.1% in Germany, 0.7% in the UK and 0.3% in France) as a result of strong letting activity and slight yield tightening;
  • Profit before tax down 5.2% to £91.5m (2020: £96.5m) due to lower gains from disposals but statutory earnings per share (EPS) up 54.2% because of the derecognition of deferred tax liabilities on UK property revaluation gains following CLS’ conversion of its UK operations to a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT);
  • EPRA EPS was down 7.4% due to the strengthening of sterling which resulted in unfavourable foreign exchange movements, offset by cost rationalisations which have lowered its cost base;
  • A proposed final dividend of 5.35 pence per share to be paid on 29 April 2022, resulting in a total 2021 dividend of 7.70 pence per share, an increase of 2.0% (2020: 7.55 pence per share) and NAV total return for the year of 3.7% (2020: 8.1%).

 Operational highlights

  • Rent collection remained strong in 2021 with 99% collected (2020: 99%) and 97% of first quarter 2022 contracted rent due now collected (2020: 98%)
  • Net rental income stable at £108.0m (2020: £109.8m) due to redevelopment and leasing expiries, foreign exchange reductions and lower dilapidations income offset by contributions from net acquisitions
  • Acquired six properties for £164.8m, three of which had exchanged in 2020. The five properties in Germany and one in the UK were bought for their asset management opportunities at a combined net initial yield of 3.9% and a reversionary yield of 6.1%. Post period end, a further two properties have exchanged in Germany for £75.7m, with a combined net initial yield of 5.1% and a reversionary yield of 5.6%. Both completions are due in April 2022
  • Disposed of eight properties for £37.4m (4.8% net initial yield) at 3.2% above 2020 book values. Post period end, two further properties exchanged for sale in the UK at £10.1m (6.0% net initial yield) at book value. Completions are expected in Q1 2022
  • Completed 125 lease events securing £12.9m of annual rent at 0.4% above 31 December 2020 estimated rental values
  • Vacancy rate increased to 5.8% (2020: 5.1%) due to acquired vacancy in the German purchases.

Financing

  • Weighted average cost of debt at 31 December 2021 down 6 basis point to 2.22% (2020: 2.28%)
  • Loan-to-value at 37.1% (2020: 33.7%) reflecting net acquisitions during the year. Gross debt of £1,031.6m (2020: £970.7m) with cash of £167.4m (2020: £235.7m) and £50m of undrawn facilities
  • Second long-term, ‘green’ loan secured for £61.7m with Scottish Widows at 2.65% fixed interest rate for 12 years – over 20% of CLS’ loan portfolio is now ‘green’. This transaction contributed to maintaining high weighted average debt maturity of 4.4 years (2020: 4.6 years)
  • Financed or refinanced £196.7m of debt in 2021 at an average of 1.62%, including £172.8m fixed at 1.70%, and repaid £88.2m of debt

Fredrik Widlund, chief executive officer of CLS, commented:

“CLS has delivered a healthy and robust set of results for 2021 with net assets up from earnings and valuation gains in all of our three countries.  We faced headwinds from the strengthening of sterling and the impact of pandemic restrictions which temporarily reduced occupancy but our operational performance, especially in the second half of the year, was excellent with collection and leasing activities at pre-pandemic levels.

“These results show that our well-located, high quality and flexible offices with great amenities in modern, sustainable buildings are meeting the needs of our customers. We have seen significant positive momentum in lettings in recent months and have more than 30 ongoing refurbishment and developments that will drive strong growth going forwards.”

CLI : CLS Holdings reports solid results

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