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International Property News



ECM REI with CZK 2.5bn loss in 2008


24th March 2009

ECM Real Estate Investments (ECM REI) last year lost EUR92.1m or Kc2.5bn, while a year earlier it generated net earnings worth EUR25.6m, the developer said in a press release Monday.

Analysts had expected a result almost twice as better.

Losses from revaluation of property are behind the fall, the firm said. The net revaluation loss reached EUR44.67m last year, compared to EUR72.43m profit a year earlier.

Cyrrus analyst Karel Potmesil told CTK they had expected a loss of EUR28.3m. Its size is a disappointment and so is the fact that all cost items, not only revaluation, are part of the loss, he said.

Net asset value was 43 percent lower on the year at EUR140m and net asset value per share decreased by up to 65 percent to EUR20.3.

Analysts were also more optimistic regarding these two indicators.

By contrast, the developer was successful in lease and services, with net profit in the segment soaring 165 percent to EUR13.2m last year.

"The announced results for 2008, as we had expected, are much affected by the ongoing unfavourable conditions on the global financial markets," said board chairman and president of ECM Milan Janku.

The entire property market was seriously hit by the crisis and many companies have been struggling with the same problems, namely worse access to loans, rising level of yields required and generally low liquidity on the markets, said Janku.

ECM REI is listed on the Prague bourse. Janku is its majority shareholder through ECM Group.

Early in March, ECM Group announced setting up a joint property holding company with the PPF group of the richest Czech Petr Kellner. PPF will have majority in the new group.

Potmesil said the merger of ECM REI's majority shareholder with the strong financial group is the firm's advantage adding to its reliability compared with other players in the relevant Czech and regional markets.

ECM REI's portfolio consisted of 22 projects with an area of over 620,000 square metres at end-2008. Besides the Czech Republic, the firm has also been operating in Russia, Poland and China.

VGP, focused on building warehouses and logistic parks, last year netted EUR28.6m (around Kc772m), a year-on-year drop of EUR7.8m.

ECM and VGP shares are traded on the Prague bourse, just like shares of another developer Orco Property Group.

Orco was to disclose results on March 16 but decided to put it off until the end of March due to uncertainty on the markets and difficult situation at the company.

Source: Prague Monitor
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