Plaza Arena in Budapest, Hungary: One of four major acquisitions made by Nepi Rockcastle since September.
Plaza Arena in Budapest, Hungary: One of four major acquisitions made by Nepi Rockcastle since September.

Nepi Rockcastle increased distributable earnings per share for the first half of 2018 to end-June by 12.9%, the group said on Wednesday.

This increase is due to the effect of acquisitions and developments finalised in 2017 being concentrated in the second half of the year, the group said. Major new centres in Serbia and Romania are on track to open in the second half of 2018.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is conducting an investigation into possible insider dealing or market manipulation in NEPI Rockcastle’s shares.

Better than expected performance

The growth is better than that envisaged earlier in the year, with the group expecting distributable earnings per share for the 2018 financial year to end-December to be approximately 10% higher.

CEO Alex Morar said the group consolidated its portfolio in existing markets through further acquisitions of high-quality retail properties and asset management initiatives, while expanding into the affluent Baltic states with a first deal in Lithuania.

"With our focus on dominant retail assets in the high-growth markets of the central and eastern European region, we continue to reinforce our standing as a partner of choice for both international and regional retailers," he said.

Nepi Rockcastle’s portfolio is valued at €5.3bn, compared to €4.9bn at the end of 2017, with retail properties delivering like-for-like growth in net rental income of 4.1% compared to the six months to end-June in 2017.

The loan-to-value ratio of 28% is below the group's target of 35%.

Interests in Romania amount to 39% of the group’s market value, followed by Poland with 26% and Bulgaria with 10%.

At 11.47am Nepi Rockcastle shares were up 0.08% to R133.09. It is 37.68% down for 2018.

Correction: August 29 2018

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Nepi Rockcastle was being investigated for possible insider trading and market manipulation. The investigation is in fact into the company's shares.

 

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