ECO Business-Immobilien AG

EANS-Adhoc: ECO Business-Immobilien AG with fivefold increase in Group EBIT to EUR 25.0 million for the first three quarters of 2010

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ECO Business-Immobilien AG with fivefold increase in Group EBIT to EUR 25.0 million for the first three quarters of 2010

Vienna, 23 November 2010. ECO Business-Immobilien AG (Vienna Stock Exchange / Prime Market: ECO) continued its stable positive development during the first three quarters of 2010. Earnings improved significantly over the comparable prior year period, which was influenced by impairment charges. Profit after tax rose to EUR 9.1 million (1-9/2009: EUR -8.2 million) and Group EBIT increased 380% to EUR 25.0 million. ECO´s liquidity and equity base remained solid, with the equity ratio equaling 45% as of 30 September 2010.

ECO generated revenues of EUR 41.1 million during the first nine months of this year. These results were slightly lower than the comparable prior year period (EUR 46.8 million) due to the sale of several properties. Income from the disposal of non-current assets increased substantially to EUR 4.3 million (1- 9/2009: EUR 0.3 million), above all due to the sale of the Opernringhof in Vienna. The positive trend in property valuation continued during the reporting period, with the valuation of the property portfolio by independent experts producing a net gain of EUR 3.0 million in fair value adjustments. In contrast, the first nine months of 2009 brought a valuation loss of EUR 18.6 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR 25.0 million for the reporting period (1-9/2009: EUR 5.3 million).

A decline in the volume of financing and lower interest rates had a positive effect on financial results, but the positive interest effect was offset in part by exceptional legal and consulting expenses of EUR 1.9 million in the third quarter of 2010. In spite of this development, financial results improved notably from EUR -16.0 million to EUR -14.2 million. Profit before tax rose significantly to EUR 10.7 million for the reporting period (1-9/2009: EUR -10.7 million). Moreover, profit after tax turned positive to equal EUR 9.3 million (1-9/2009: EUR -8.3 million). Funds from operations (FFO) before interest and taxes totalled EUR 31.2 million for the first three quarters of 2010 (1-9/2009: EUR 0.6 million). FFO after interest and taxes was also positive at EUR 15.9 million, compared with EUR -15.4 million in the first three quarters of the previous year.

The sale of properties during the first three quarters of 2010 reduced the balance sheet total to EUR 784.9 million as of 30 September 2010 (31 December 2009: EUR 858.6 million). A decline in liabilities increased the equity ratio to 45.0% as of 30 September 2010 (31 December 2009: 41.6%). Net debt fell to EUR 384.3 million (31 December 2009: EUR 470.1 million). The loan-to-value ratio (LTV) equalled 53.5% at the end of September 2010. ECO has no further financing requirements for 2010. Cash and cash equivalents totalled EUR 30.5 million at the end of the third quarter of 2010, which represents a significant improvement over the EUR 16.0 million reported as of 31 December 2009. Net asset value (NAV) per share amounted to EUR 10.34 as of 30 September 2010, compared with EUR 10.45 at year-end 2009.

The ECO property portfolio comprised 58 objects with 521,700 m² of rentable space as of 30 September 2010. Occupancy levels as well as average rents remained largely constant throughout the reporting period. The business activities for the first three quarters of 2010 focused on redevelopment projects, on profitable sales and on the completion of the development project in Ukraine.

The extended acceptance period for the takeover offer made by conwert Immobilien Invest SE to the free float shareholders of ECO Business-Immobilien AG for the purchase of their ECO shares (offer price: EUR 7.15 per share) ended on 3 November 2010. After the expiration of this extension and the purchase of 229,014 shares owned by parties acting in concert (Johann Kowar and Kowar KG), conwert held 32,653,279 shares in ECO Business-Immobilien AG. This represents approx. 95.76% of the share capital of ECO Business-Immobilien AG.

Activities during the fourth quarter of 2010 will concentrate on the realisation of redevelopment projects as well as the sale of selected properties. The project in Ukraine will be completed in the near future, and no other development projects are planned at the present time. The active management of the properties in the investment portfolio will form the basis for continued stable rental income and satisfactory occupancy levels.

The Management Board expects a substantial year-on-year improvement in the equity ratio for 2010. Operating earnings will exceed the previous year, supported by a stable rental business and the positive development of valuation results. Based on the sound development of operations, the continuing low level of interest rates and a lower volume of financing, the Management Board expects an improvement in profit over the prior year.

Selected Company Data in accordance with IFRS

|                                            |       |1-9/2010   |1-9/2009  |
|Revenues                                    |(TEUR) |41,071     |46,771    |
| Thereof rental income                      |(TEUR) |32,599     |38,206    |
|Net gain/(loss) from changes in the
|fair value of investment properties         |(TEUR) |2,958      |-18,554   |
|Operating profit (EBIT)                     |(TEUR) |24,946     |5,253     |
|Profit before tax (EBT)                     |(TEUR) |10,724     |-10,740   |
|Profit after tax                            |(TEUR) |9,116      |-8,226    |
(after non-controlling interests)

|Earnings per share                          |(EUR)  |0.27       |-0.24     |
|Weighted average number of shares           |(no.)  |34,100,000 |34,100,000|

|FFO (funds from operations)
|before interest and taxes1)                 |(TEUR) |31,219     |603       |
|Cash earnings (FFO - funds from operations)
|after interest and taxes 2)                 |(TEUR) |15,917     |-15,429   |

|NAV per share as of the balance sheet date  |(EUR)  |10.34      |10.37     | 

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 -              |30/09/2010      |31/12/2009      |
|summary in TEUR
|Non-current assets                        |741,559         |834,560         |
| Thereof investment property              |711,489         |782,465         |
| Thereof properties under construction    |17,257          |39,281          |
|Current assets                            |43,307          |23,990          |
|Total assets                              |784,866         |858,550         |
|Equity and reserves                       |353,075         |357,329         |
| Thereof non-controlling interests        |371             |834             |
|Non-current liabilities                   |382,443         |452,400         |
|Current liabilities                       |49,348          |48,822          |
|Total equity and liabilities              |784,866         |858,550         |

Property Data
|                                          |30/09/2010        |30/09/2009    |
|Number of objects                         |58                |61            |
|Investment properties 1)                  |57                |59            |
|Thereof development projects              |1                 |2             |
|Rentable space in m² 2)                   |521,700           |538,800       |
|Garage spaces (number)                    |2,950             |2,840         |
|Property assets (in TEUR)                 |728,746           |816,760       |
|Thereof properties under construction     |17,257            |38,768        |

1) Investment property 

2) 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

Further inquiry note:

ECO Business-Immobilien AG
Elke Englert, Chief Financial Officer
Tel +43 1 580 88 0

Metrum Communications
Roland Mayrl
Tel +43 1 504 69 87-331

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

Original-Content von: ECO Business-Immobilien AG, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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