ECO Business-Immobilien AG

EANS-Adhoc: ECO Business-Immobilien AG with sound earnings growth in the first quarter of 2010

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21.05.2010

ECO Business-Immobilien AG with sound earnings growth in the first quarter of 2010

Vienna, 21 May 2010. ECO Business-Immobilien AG (Vienna Stock Exchange / Prime Market: ECO) completed a successful start into the 2010 financial year with EBIT of EUR 9.2 million for the first quarter (1-3/2009: EUR -6.2 million). The foundation for this positive development was formed by the re-dimensioning programme implemented in 2009 as well as an improvement in the market environment in Austria and Germany. These factors supported satisfactory rentals, an increase in property values and a further improvement in financial results. The equity ratio remained stable at a high 41.3%.

ECO generated revenues of EUR 14.3 million for the first quarter of 2010, compared with EUR 16.5 million in the first quarter of 2009 based on a larger property portfolio. The more encouraging market environment and active property management supported a net gain of EUR 1.2 million from changes in the fair value of investment properties. This represents a significant shift from the first quarter of 2009, which brought a valuation loss of EUR 14.9 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) equalled EUR 9.2 million for the reporting period, compared with EUR -6.2 million in the first three months of 2009.

A reduction in debt and generally lower interest rates allowed for an improvement in financial results to EUR -4.8 million (1-3/2009: EUR -6.5 million). Profit before tax equalled EUR 4.5 million and reflects a substantial increase over the comparable prior year level of EUR -12.7 million. Profit after tax turned positive at EUR 3.5 million, versus EUR -9.9 million in the first quarter of 2009. The operating strength of ECO is underscored by funds from operations before interest and taxes, which amounted to EUR 8.0 million for the first quarter of 2010 (1-3/2009: EUR -5.7 million). FFO after interest and taxes was also positive at EUR 3.3 million, compared with EUR -12.2 million in the first quarter of the previous year.

Following the re-dimensioning of the property portfolio and the strengthening of equity during 2009, no major changes were made to the balance sheet structure during the first quarter of 2010. The balance sheet total of ECO equalled EUR 858.1 million as of 31 March 2010, and is nearly unchanged in comparison with the EUR 858.6 million reported at year-end 2009. The equity ratio remained stable at 41.3% (31.12.2009: 41.6%), as did net debt at EUR 476.4 million (31.12.2009: EUR 468.7 million). The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio was 56.5% at the end of March 2010. A total of EUR 11.4 million in liabilities due for refinancing in 2010 were converted to long-term during the first quarter. The Company´s financing is secured over the long-term, and the remaining volume of refinancing for this year totals only EUR 3.5 million. Cash and cash equivalents totalled EUR 10.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2010, compared with EUR 16.0 million as of 31 December 2009.

Net asset value (NAV) per share equalled EUR 10.39 as of 31 March 2010, versus EUR 10.45 at year-end 2009. Adjusted NAV equalled EUR 10.21 per share (versus EUR 10.30 at year-end 2009).

The ECO property portfolio comprised 61 objects with 541,500 m² of rentable space as of 31 March 2010. The occupancy levels as well as average rents remained constant during the reporting period. The focus for the first quarter of 2010 was placed on the redevelopment of selected objects, and the first positive results have already been recorded.

Activities during the remainder of this year will focus on the implementation of ECO´s strategy for the future, which was defined during the first quarter. The initial step in this strategy involves strengthening the creation of value in the existing portfolio through the redevelopment of properties, through active asset management and through trading activities. Plans call for the sale of completed properties whose development potential has been exhausted and the acquisition of other objects with a potential for an increase in value. Accordingly, preparations were made during the first quarter of 2010 for the sale of selected objects during the coming months.

A solid liquidity and equity structure as well as secured long-term financing will allow ECO to effectively utilise the growing number of opportunities offered by the market in 2010. In addition, the property portfolio provides a sound foundation for the Company´s further development. The continuous optimisation of the portfolio should ensure stable occupancy and rental income this year. Against the backdrop of a recovering market environment, the Management Board of ECO expects positive cash income from operating activities as well as an improvement in profit over 2009.

Selected Company Data in accordance with IFRS

|1-3/2010   |1-3/2009   |
|Revenues                                    |(TEUR) |14,324     |16,523     |
| Thereof rental income                      |(TEUR) |11,592     |13,444     |
|Net gain/(loss) from changes in the         |(TEUR) |1,210      |-14,888    |
fair value of investment properties
|Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation |(TEUR) |8,034      |8,708      |
and amortisation (EBITDA)
|Operating profit (EBIT)                     |(TEUR) |9,235      |-6,193     |
|Profit before tax (EBT)                     |(TEUR) |4,484      |-12,679    |
|Profit after tax                            |(TEUR) |3,414      |-9,828     |
(after non-controlling interests)

|Earnings per share                          |(EUR)  |0.10        |-0.29     |
|Weighted average number of shares           |(no.)  |34,100,000  |34,100,000|

|FFO (funds from operations)                 |(TEUR) |8,034       |-5,694    |
before interest and taxes 1)
|Cash earnings (FFO - funds from operations) |(TEUR) |3,274       |-12,191   |
after interest and taxes 2)

|NAV per share as of the balance sheet date  |(EUR)  |10.39       |10.31     | 

1) EBIT + depreciation and amortisation +/- fair value adjustments +/- impairment charges 2) EBIT + depreciation and amortisation +/- fair value adjustments +/- impairment charges - financial results - income taxes paid

Balance Sheet Data

|Consolidated balance sheet -              |31/03/2010        |31/12/2009      |
summary in TEUR
|Non-current assets                        |837,570           |833,149         |
| Thereof investment properties            |783,966           |782,465         |
| Thereof properties under construction    |42,043            |39,281          |
|Current assets                            |20,533            |25,401          |
|Total assets                              |858,102           |858,550         |
|Equity and reserves                       |354,627           |357,329         |
| Thereof non-controlling interests        |243               |834             |
|Non-current liabilities                   |466,155           |452,400         |
|Current liabilities                       |37,321            |48,822          |
|Total equity and liabilities              |858,102           |858,550         |


Property Data
                                           |31/03/2010        |31/03/2009     |
|Number of objects                         |61                |71             |
| Thereof investment portfolio             |59                |69             |
| Thereof development projects             |2                 |2              |
|Rentable space in m²*                     |541,500           |580,800        |
|Garage spaces (number)                    |2,970             |3,060          |
|Property assets (in TEUR)                 |826,009           |892,792        |
| Thereof properties under construction    |42,043            |31,247         | 

* Garage spaces were included at 20 m² each / parking areas included

This press release includes forward-looking estimates and statements that are based on the information available to ECO Business-Immobilien AG at the present time. Forward-looking statements are normally described with terms such as "expect", "estimate", "plan", "anticipate", "assume", "should", "could", etc., and reflect conditions at the time they are made. ECO notes that numerous factors may cause actual circumstances and, therefore also actual results, to differ from the expectations described in this press release.

end of announcement                               euro adhoc
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Further inquiry note:

ECO Business-Immobilien AG
Wolfgang Gössweiner, Speaker of the Management Board
Tel +43 1 580 88 0
E goessweiner@eco-immo.at

Metrum Communications
Roland Mayrl
Tel +43 1 504 69 87-331
E r.mayrl@metrum.at

Peter Pechar
Head of Investor Relations
Tel.: +43(1)580 88 35
mailto:pechar@eco-immo.at

Branche: Real Estate
ISIN: AT0000617907
WKN: A0D8RY
Index: Prime Market
Börsen: Wien / Regulated free trade



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