Management Board of Northern Horizon Capital AS has approved the unaudited consolidated interim financial statements of Baltic Horizon Fund (the Fund) for the twelve months of 2020.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic
At the beginning of 2020, a new coronavirus (COVID-19) started spreading all over the world, which has had an impact on businesses and economies, including in the Baltics. It is evident that the operating results of Q2-Q4 2020 and property valuations were affected by the COVID-19 effects on the tenants’ financial performance and the relief measures taken to deal with the pandemic. However, based on the currently available information, the Management Company believes that the COVID-19 pandemic should rather have a temporary effect on the Fund’s results. Broad portfolio diversification allows the Fund to limit the COVID-19 impact on the whole portfolio and maintain healthy consolidated operational performance.
The Fund has opted to retain approx. EUR 4.4 million of distributable cash flow from the results to strengthen the Fund’s financial position. The management team will continue to actively monitor the economic impact of the pandemic and reassess future distribution levels depending on the upcoming operating results.
In summary, it may be concluded that the COVID virus induced lockdown in the Baltics has impacted mainly Baltic Horizon’s centrally located retail and entertainment centres. Retail assets located in the central business districts (Postimaja, Europa and Galerija Centrs) accounted for 26.5% of total portfolio NOI in Q4 2020. Remainder of the portfolio has performed well, as expected.
Secondary public offering
On 23 October 2020, the Fund announced the issue of new units in a secondary public offering. In total, gross equity of EUR 7.2 million was raised through the transaction. After the transaction, the total number of Fund units registered in the Estonian Register of Securities increased to 119,635,429.
Distributions to unitholders for Q3 2020 and Q4 2020 Fund results
On 20 October 2020, the Fund declared a cash distribution of EUR 3,111 thousand (EUR 0.026 per unit) to the Fund unitholders for Q3 2020 results. This represents a 2.25% return on the weighted average Q3 2020 net asset value to its unitholders.
On 4 February 2021, the Fund declared a cash distribution of EUR 1,316 thousand (EUR 0.011 per unit) to the Fund unitholders for Q4 2020 results. This represents a 0.93% return on the weighted average Q4 2020 net asset value to its unitholders.
Total dividends distributed during 2020 was EUR 9,7 million (EUR 10,25 million in 2019). In addition, the fund has unpaid dividend reserve of EUR 4,4 million by the end of 2020.
Dividend capacity calculation
The Fund reduced cash distribution during some quarters in 2020 due to COVID-19 induced lockdowns. Generated net cash flow (GNCF) for the entire year of 2020 was a commendable EUR 11,4 million (EUR 11,0 million in 2019) and reached EUR 0.1 per unit (EUR 0,11 per unit in 2019) despite the shopping centre lockdowns.
|EUR ’000||Q4 2019||Q1 2020||Q2 2020||Q3 2020||Q4 2020|
|(+) Net rental income||5,635||5,772||4,618||4,799||4,745|
|(-) Fund administrative expenses||(846)||(889)||(634)||(682)||(713)|
|(-) External interest expenses||(1,346)||(1,331)||(1,327)||(1,327)||(1,362)|
|(-) CAPEX expenditure1||(225)||(95)||(97)||(230)||(131)|
|(+) Added back listing related expenses||–||39||29||114||85|
|(+) Added back acquisition related expenses||–||–||–||–||26|
|Generated net cash flow (GNCF)||3,218||3,496||2,589||2,674||2,650|
|GNCF per weighted unit (EUR)||0.029||0.031||0.023||0.024||0.022|
|12-months rolling GNCF yield2 (%)||8.6%||11.5%||9.6%||9.4%||8.6%|
|Dividends declared for the period||3,175||1,701||1,701||3,111||1,316|
|Dividends declared per unit3 (EUR)||0.028||0.015||0.015||0.026||0.011|
|12-months rolling dividend yield2 (%)||8.0%||9.6%||7.2%||7.5%||5.8%|
- The table provides actual capital expenditures for the quarter. Future dividend distributions to unitholders are aimed to be based on the annual budgeted capital expenditure plans equalised for each quarter. This will reduce the quarterly volatility of cash distributions to unitholders.
- 12-month rolling GNCF and dividend yields are based on the closing market price of the unit as at the end of the quarter (Q4 2020: closing market price of the unit as of 31 December 2020).
- Based on the number of units entitled to dividends.
Net profit and net rental income
Portfolio properties in the office segment contributed 55.8% (2019: 50.8%) of net rental income in 2020 followed by the retail segment with 40.1% (2019: 43.8%) and the leisure segment with 4.1% (2019: 5.4%).Retail assets located in the central business districts (Postimaja, Europa and Galerija Centrs) accounted for 29.2% of total portfolio net rental income in 2020. Total net rental income attributable to neighbourhood shopping centres accounted for 10.9% in 2020.
In 2020, the Group earned net rental income of EUR 19.9 million exceeding the previous year’s net rental income for the same period by EUR 0.7 million or 3.7% (2019: 19.2 million). The increase was achieved through new acquisitions that were made following the capital raisings in 2019. The acquisition of Galerija Centrs and North Star had a significant effect on the Group’s net rental income growth in 2020 as compared to 2019, albeit rental income growth in Q2-Q4 2020 was slower due to relief measures granted to tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During 2020, the Group recorded a net loss of EUR 13.5 million against a net profit of EUR 8.8 million for 2019. The net result was impacted by the negative valuation result of EUR 25.2 million recognized in June and December 2020. The negative impact of valuation losses on investment properties was offset by an increase in net rental income, other operating income and a slight decrease in administrative expenses. Excluding the valuation impact on the net result, the net profit for 2020 would have amounted to EUR 11.7 million (2019: EUR 10.9 million). Earnings per unit excluding valuation losses on investment properties would have amounted to EUR 0.10 (2019: EUR 0.11).
On an EPRA like-for-like basis, portfolio net rental income decreased by 7.4% year on year mainly due to weaker performance in retail and leisure segments. The decrease was offset by the relatively stable performance of the office segment which remained largely unaffected by the lockdown in the Baltic States.
During 2020, investment properties in Latvia and Lithuania contributed 38.3% (2019: 37.2%) and 36.4% (2019: 35.0%) of net rental income respectively, while investment properties in Estonia contributed 25.3% (2019: 27.8%).
Gross Asset Value (GAV)
At the end of December 2020, the GAV decreased to EUR 355.6 million (31 December 2019: EUR 371.7 million) which was a drop of 4.3% over 2020. The Group made a capital investment (EUR 1.4 million) in the Meraki office building development project during Q4 2020. The Fund aims to continue the construction of the Meraki office building throughout 2021 and welcome new office tenants looking for efficient modern work spaces. The Management Company will continue to actively monitor the economic impact of the pandemic and ensure sufficient liquidity levels during the construction period.
Net Asset Value (NAV)
At the end of December 2020, the Fund net asset value (NAV) decreased to EUR 136.3 million (31 December 2019: EUR 152.5 million) as a result of the negative portfolio revaluation which was impacted by the high market uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to the year-end 2019 NAV, the Fund’s NAV decreased by 10.6%. Positive net operating income of EUR 19,9 million over the period was offset by EUR 25.2 million valuation losses, EUR 9.7 million dividend distributions to the unitholders and a negative cash flow hedge reserve movement of EUR 0.1 million. At 31 December 2020, NAV per unit stood at EUR 1.1395 (31 December 2019: EUR 1.3451), while NAV per unit based on EPRA standards was EUR 1.2219 (31 December 2019: EUR 1.4333).
The Baltic Horizon Fund portfolio consists of 15 cash flow investment properties in the Baltic capitals and investment property under construction on the Meraki land plot. At the end of Q4 2020, the fair value of the Fund’s portfolio was EUR 340.0 million (31 December 2019: EUR 358.9 million) and incorporated a total net leasable area of 153,345 sq. m. During Q4 2020, the Group invested EUR 0.4 million in the existing property portfolio and an additional EUR 1.4 million in the Meraki development project.
Interest bearing loans and bonds
Interest bearing loans and bonds (excluding lease liabilities) remained at a similar level of EUR 205.6 million compared to year-end 2019 figures (31 December 2019: EUR 205.8 million). Outstanding bank loans decreased slightly due to regular bank loan amortization. Annual loan amortization forms 0.2% of total debt outstanding.
Financial covenants for bonds
|Debt Service Coverage Ratio||
- On 28 July, the bondholders adopted the decision by the way of written procedure to temporarily reduce the equity ratio bond covenant to 25% or greater, until 31 July 2021
Cash inflow from core operating activities for 2020 amounted to EUR 16.1 million (2019: cash inflow of EUR 16.4 million). Cash outflow from investing activities was EUR 4.3 million (2019: cash outflow of EUR 78.2 million) due to subsequent capital expenditure on existing portfolio properties and investments in the Meraki development project. Cash outflow from financing activities was EUR 8.3 million (2019: cash inflow of EUR 59.4 million). During 2020, the Fund made four cash distributions of EUR 9.7 million and paid regular interest on bank loans and bonds. At the end of December 2020, the Fund’s consolidated cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 13.3 million (31 December 2019: EUR 9.8 million) which demonstrates sufficient liquidity and financial flexibility.
Key earnings figures
|EUR ‘000||Q4 2020||Q4 2019||Change (%)|
|Net rental income||4,745||5,635||(15.8%)|
|Other operating income||18||3||500%|
|Valuation (losses) on investment properties||(9,488)||375||(2,630.1%)|
|Operating (loss) profit||(5,438)||5,167||(205.2%)|
|Net financing costs||(1,406)||(1,401)||0.4%|
|(Loss) profit before tax||(6,844)||3,766||(281.7%)|
|Net (loss) profit for the period||(6,678)||3,415||(295.5%)|
|Weighted average number of units outstanding (units)||118,124,947||112,686,139||4.8%|
|Earnings per unit (EUR)||(0.06)||0.03||(300.0%)|
Key financial position figures
|EUR ‘000||31.12.2020||31.12.2019||Change (%)|
|Investment properties in use||334,518||356,575||(6.2%)|
|Investment property under construction||5,474||2,367||131.3%|
|Gross asset value (GAV)||355,602||371,734||(4.3%)|
|Interest bearing loans and bonds||205,604||205,827||(0.1%)|
|Net asset value (NAV)||136,321||152,518||(10.6%)|
|Number of units outstanding (units)||119,635,429||113,387,525||5.5%|
|IFRS Net asset value (IFRS NAV) per unit (EUR)||1.1395||1.3451||(15.3%)|
|EPRA Net reinvestment value (EPRA NRV) per unit (EUR)||1.2219||1.4333||(14.7%)|
|EPRA Net tangible assets (EPRA NTA) per unit (EUR)||1.2219||1.4333||(14.7%)|
|EPRA Net disposal value (EPRA NDV) per unit (EUR)||1.1435||1.3400||(14.7%)|
|EPRA Net asset value (EPRA NAV) per unit (EUR)||1.2219||1.4333||(14.7%)|
|Loan-to-Value ratio (%)||60.5%||57.3%||–|
|Average effective interest rate (%)||2.6%||2.6%||–|
The average direct property yield during Q4 2020 remained stable at 5.5% (Q3 2020: 5.5%). The net initial yield for the whole portfolio for Q4 2020 was 5.6% (Q3 2020: 5.6%). Property yields showed signs of improvement up until December 2020, yet December results suffered due to lockdowns and yields ultimately remained stable compared to Q3 2020. Turnover rents from retail tenants decreased during December due to lockdowns in Latvia and Lithuania. Simultaneously the Fund granted additional rent concessions to tenants whose operations were restricted by government regulations. Compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic performance levels, the leisure and retail segments took the biggest hit mainly due to the COVID-19 forced discounts, while the office segment continued to perform well and remained largely unaffected. The average rental rate for the whole portfolio for Q4 2020 was EUR 11.7 per sq. m.
During Q4 2020, the average actual occupancy of the portfolio was 94.5% (Q3 2020: 94.6%). Taking into account Duetto II rental guarantee, the effective occupancy rate was 94.5% (Q3 2020: 94.6%). The occupancy rate as of 31 December 2020 was 94.3% (30 September 2020: 94.7%). The Fund’s tenant base remains strong despite several tenants vacating premises in Q3 and Q4 2020. The Fund signed a new rental agreement with F8 Outlet in Domus PRO Retail Park which increased the occupancy level of property to 100.0% during Q4 2020. Occupancy rates in the office segment still remain strong albeit Lithuania Tax Inspectorate vacated part of their premises in North Star resulting in a minor negative effect on the occupancy levels.
Overview of the Fund’s investment properties as of 31 December 2020
|Property name||Sector||Fair value1
|Direct property yield
|Net initial yield
|Occupancy rate for
|Domus Pro Retail Park||Retail||16,090||11,247||7.5%||7.2%||100.0%|
|Domus Pro Office||Office||7,590||4,831||8.9%||7.6%||100.0%|
|Upmalas Biroji BC||Office||23,474||10,458||6.6%||6.8%||93.5%|
|Postimaja & CC Plaza complex||Retail||29,770||9,145||3.2%||3.7%||95.1%|
|Postimaja & CC Plaza complex||Leisure||14,170||8,664||5.8%||4.9%||100.0%|
- Based on the latest valuation as at 31 December 2020 and recognised right-of-use assets.
- Direct property yield (DPY) is calculated by dividing NOI by the acquisition value and subsequent capital expenditure of the property.
- The net initial yield (NIY) is calculated by dividing NOI by the market value of the property.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF PROFIT OR LOSS AND OTHER COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
|Service charge income||1,241||1,397||4,990||4,525|
|Cost of rental activities||(1,644)||(1,959)||(6,753)||(6,082)|
|Net rental income||4,745||5,635||19,934||19,219|
|Other operating income||18||3||204||26|
|Valuation (losses) gains on investment properties||(9,488)||375||(25,245)||(2,064)|
|Operating (loss) profit||(5,438)||5,167||(8,025)||13,930|
|Net financing costs||(1,406)||(1,401)||(5,521)||(4,713)|
|(Loss) profit before tax||(6,844)||3,766||(13,546)||9,217|
|Income tax charge||166||(351)||5||(426)|
|(Loss) profit for the period||(6,678)||3,415||(13,541)||8,791|
|Other comprehensive income that is or may be reclassified to profit or loss in subsequent periods|
|Net gains (losses) on cash flow hedges||119||802||(108)||(595)|
|Income tax relating to net gains (losses) on cash flow hedges||(10)||(48)||3||44|
|Other comprehensive income (expense), net of tax, that is or may be reclassified to profit or loss in subsequent periods||109||754||(105)||(551)|
|Total comprehensive income (expense) for the period, net of tax||(6,569)||4,169||(13,646)||8,240|
|Basic and diluted earnings per unit (EUR)||(0.06)||0.03||(0.12)||0.09|
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION
|Investment property under construction||5,474||2,367|
|Property, plant and equipment||2||–|
|Derivative financial instruments||–||73|
|Other non-current assets||22||54|
|Total non-current assets||340,016||359,069|
|Trade and other receivables||1,901||1,794|
|Other current assets||–||734|
|Cash and cash equivalents||13,333||9,836|
|Total current assets||15,586||12,665|
|Paid in capital||145,200||138,064|
|Cash flow hedge reserve||(1,661)||(1,556)|
|Interest bearing loans and borrowings||195,670||205,718|
|Deferred tax liabilities||6,009||6,199|
|Derivative financial instruments||1,736||1,728|
|Other non-current liabilities||1,026||1,298|
|Total non-current liabilities||204,441||214,943|
|Interest bearing loans and borrowings||10,222||414|
|Trade and other payables||3,640||3,171|
|Income tax payable||1||8|
|Derivative financial instruments||27||–|
|Other current liabilities||950||680|
|Total current liabilities||14,840||4,273|
|Total equity and liabilities||355,602||371,734|