Business A pivotal and fruitful 2019 year for Investis, which...

A pivotal and fruitful 2019 year for Investis, which remains confident

Geneva (awp) – The 2019 financial year enabled the real estate company Investis to reach an important milestone. The group with Valais roots believes that it has fulfilled all the objectives set during the IPO four years ago. The coronavirus is not expected to affect business much in 2020.

Net profit soared (+ 218%) to 172.8 million Swiss francs, said Investis on Wednesday. This indicator exceeds the most optimistic expectations of analysts.

The corporate tax reform in Geneva has enabled the group to reduce deferred deferred taxes by 61 million Swiss francs, resulting in a tax surplus of 45 million last year. Excluding revaluations, profit doubled to 69.5 million.

The Board of Directors proposes to pay an unchanged dividend of 2.35 Swiss francs per share. Coronavirus epidemic requires, the general meeting will be held without shareholders. Voting will take place through an independent representative.

Earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) improved by some 70% to 127.2 million Swiss francs.

Revenues contracted 5.1% to 187.5 million Swiss francs, a drop caused by divestments during the year (including Régie du Rhône) and other adjustments in the Real Estate Services unit , specifies the press release. The latter saw its revenue fall by 8% to 136.0 million.

The Ebit margin jumped 3.2 percentage points to 8.4%. At the time of its IPO, Investis had set an Ebit margin target “at a percentage figure at the top of the range”. The company believes it has kept all of the promises made at the 2016 IPO. No new financial targets will be released, said chief financial officer René Häsler during a conference call.

“Dry” property market in Geneva

In the Properties division, rental income rose 3.6% to 57 million Swiss francs, a level slightly lower than analysts’ forecasts. On a comparable basis, the increase reached 0.4%. The vacancy rate deteriorated slightly to 3.2%, compared to 2.9% the previous year.

For 2020, Investis plans to expand its real estate portfolio, the value of which reached 1.44 billion Swiss francs (+ 6.9%) at the end of 2019. The real estate company Investis will however have to deal with a market under pressure due to the coronavirus .

Possible acquisitions of new real estate risk being put on hold, at least in the short term. “The market is fairly dry in Geneva. It is difficult to find new opportunities,” said managing director Stéphane Bonvin at the conference.

Interest rates will drop, but that shouldn’t affect rental income too much, says Bonvin. The same goes for demand in terms of residential property for rent. “The Investis portfolio should not be too strongly affected.”

The service activities benefited from extensive digitization before the health crisis, which made it possible to apply telework easily and quickly. For Stéphane Bonvin, the coronavirus pandemic could even bring in additional income, for example with principals for disinfecting buildings.

Investis has an attractive portfolio in the Lake Geneva region, which has potential for growth and synergies with the service business, says the Cantonal Bank of Zurich in a comment. The company should better resist the health crisis because it is active in the residential sector.

For Vontobel, improving profitability in the service business is one of the strong points of these 2019 figures. Investis is well positioned as a player focused on the Lake Geneva region, explains the Zurich management bank.

At 1:45 pm, the Investis share swelled by 4.0% to 82.80 Swiss francs, in an SPI up 0.43%.

fr / ck

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