28 February 2018 – Expansión
The Socimi in which Santander and BBVA hold stakes doubled its earnings last year to €1.1 billion, compared with €582.6 million the previous year.
The Socimi Merlin Properties closed 2017 with revenues of €484.3 million, up by 34% compared to the previous year. Of that figure, €469.4 million stemmed from gross rental income.
Operating profits grew by 49% to €1.215 billion, whilst recurring EBITDA reached €396.6 million, up by 29% compared to 2016.
At the end of the year, the company owned a portfolio worth €11.254 billion, up by 15% compared to the previous year and 10% larger in terms of comparable surface area. Of that figure, €5.219 billion corresponds to its office portfolio, the value of which grew by 4.1% like for like.
At the end of the year, Merlin had gross financial debt amounting to €5.413 billion, placing its level of indebtedness (LTV) at 43.6%, compared with 45.5% a year ago. The CEO of Merlin, Ismael Clemente, said that he was satisfied with that reduction and assured that his firm would continue working to reduce the liability (…).
For this year, the company has set itself the objective of repositioning its assets, such as the case of Torre Gloriès (Barcelona), whose marketing is forecast to begin during the first half of the year. In the case of new acquisitions, the directors of Merlin indicated that they are going to be “very selective” in their purchases, with the focus placed primarily on Portugal and logistics assets.
The real estate investment company has announced an increase in its complementary dividend, payable in May, of 26 cents per share, which will be added to the 20 cents already allocated to the account. In total, shareholder remuneration for this year is going to grow by 15% to reach 46 cents, compared with the 40 cents disbursed in the previous year.
Merlin revealed that for the year ahead, corresponding to the accounts for 2018, it is going to distribute a minimum of €235 million amongst its shareholders, a disbursement that it will pay in full in cash, which will correspond to more than €0.50 per share. This remuneration will be distributed partly as a dividend and partly as a refund of the share premium.
The real estate company in which Santander and BBVA hold stakes also published the salaries of its main executives. In this way, it was revealed that the CEO, Ismael Clemente, was paid €2.557 million last year, compared to €2.155 million in 2016. Of that figure, €1 million corresponds to his salary, whilst €1.55 million corresponds to his bonus.
Meanwhile, Miguel Ollero, also CEO of Merlin Properties, was paid €2.5 million in 2017, compared to €2.1 million the previous year; meanwhile, the directors Rodrigo Echenique, Francisco Javier García-Carranza and Agustín Vidal did not receive any remuneration whatsoever for their roles on the Socimi’s Board of Directors.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake