1 March 2018 – Expansión
Spain’s large listed Socimis – Merlin, Colonial, Hispania, Lar España and Axiare – are continuing their rise. They closed last year with a combined profit of almost €2.4 billion, which represents an increase of almost 70% with respect to the previous year, after increasing their revenues from rental income by 20%, to €1.1 billion.
These companies, which, with the exception of Colonial, made their debuts on the stock market between March and July 2014, now own assets worth almost €26.4 billion, which represents an increase of 17% with respect to the previous year. The five Socimis also have a combined market valuation of €13.4 billion.
The stars of the year were, once again, the Socimis on the Ibex. Specifically, Merlin doubled its earnings in a record year, to exceed €1.1 billion, whilst Colonial earned €683 million, up by 149%.
The firm led by Ismael Clemente generated a recurring profit – proceeding from the core business – of €289 million, up by 31%, and increased its revenues by 34%, to €470 million. Merlin’s asset portfolio had a gross value of €11.3 billion.
Meanwhile, Colonial, which is going to merge with Axiare during the second half of this year following its successful takeover, recorded a 22% increase in recurring profits, to reach €83 million, boosted by rising rents, a better financial result and a lower corporation tax charge due to its conversion into a Socimi in May last year.
Unlike its rivals, Hispania saw a reduction in its profit of 27% to €228 million, after recognising provisions amounting to €95 million for the payment of incentives to its management firm Azora. Moreover, the company in which George Soros owns a stake registered a negative impact in its accounts amounting to €46 million due to the payment of incentives and the cancellation of guarantees following the purchase from Barceló of 24% of Bay for €172.4 million.
Hispania, which increased its revenues by 9.5% last year, had a portfolio of assets with a gross value of €2.5 billion at the end of the year, compared with €2.0 billion at the end of the previous year.
Meanwhile, the Socimi specialising in retail, Lar España, earned 48% more, at €136 million, thanks primarily to the performance of its shopping centres. The company recorded revenues from rental income of €77.6 million in 2017, up by 29%, and has announced divestments of non-strategic assets amounting to €470 million, including offices, residential properties and logistics assets, in processes that are already underway.
Meanwhile, Axiare’s net profit soared by 47% last year, to €218 million. The Socimi, controlled by Colonial since January, closed 2017 with turnover of €69.7 million, up by 36.6%, and assets worth €1.8 billion.
Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake