GTC SA achieves investment grade rating of BBB- from Scope Ratings ahead of green bonds issuance

A German rating agency Scope Ratings has assigned a first-time issuer rating of BBB-/Stable to Globe Trade Centre S.A. and its subsidiary GTC Real Estate Development Hungary Zrt.  GTC Group  also announces green bonds issuance within the framework of the Bond Funding for Growth Scheme  launched by the National Bank of Hungary. The senior unsecured debt rating is BBB-. The outlook on the ratings is stable.

When substantiating the rating, Scope underlined GTC’s unique position in the CEE and SEE market, as well as healthy property portfolio and pipeline.

“The achievement of the investment grade rating for GTC SA is a historical milestone for the company and reflects our unique position in CEE and SEE market, diversification of our high quality portfolio in attractive locations and overall credibility.” – said Yovav Carmi, President of the Management Board of GTC.  

“With an investment grade rating GTC Group will be provided with an access to international capital markets as we will diversify bond investor base by offering green bonds under Bond Funding for Growth Scheme. This will provide us an access to unique sources of long-term financing. The new funds will enable further growth of the asset portfolio. Issuance of green bonds will confirm our approach towards environmental and sustainability topics thus creating an important new benchmark” – added Ariel Ferstman, CFO and Management Board member  of GTC.  

According to Scope, GTC’s risk profile benefits from the company’s market position as one of the largest publicly listed real estate companies in CEE and SEE, managing approximately 715,000 sq m office and retail space. The agency also underlines, that GTC’s portfolio predominately comprises relatively new properties (weighted economic age of under 10 years). This, combined with 340,000 sq m development pipeline, supports healthy tenant demand. It attracts international, blue-chip tenants with investment grade credit quality, keeping occupancy rates at around 95%.

GTC’s financial risk profile outlook for GTC is Stable, reflecting the agency’s view that the company’s portfolio will continue to grow profitably, with the impact of Covid-19 on cash generation addressed by reduced capital expenditure and the suspension of dividends.

The rating has been published ahead of the Group’s contemplated green bonds issuance under the MNB Bond Funding for Growth Scheme which was implemented by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) to increase the liquidity of the local bond market. The issuer would be GTC’s subsidiary, GTC Real Estate Development Hungary Zrt. The senior unsecured bond as well as all future debt of GTC Real Estate Development Hungary Zrt. will be irrevocably and unconditionally guaranteed by GTC SA. Proceeds of the contemplated issue are expected to be earmarked to refinance property loans and to finance redevelopment, construction and acquisition of LEED/BREEAM certified assets and will be allocated in line with the Guarantor’s Green Bond Framework. GTC is planning to close the issuance of the green bonds still this year.

Scope is a privately-held rating agency based in Berlin. It specialises in the analysis and ratings of financial institutions, corporates, structured finance, project finance and public finance. The company is registered in accordance with the EU rating regulation and operating in the European Union with ECAI status.

Neither this press release nor the ratings issued by Scope constitute a recommendation to buy, hold, and/or sell securities and/or other financial instruments issued or relating to the Company and/or make any other investment and/or forgo any of these actions.
Neither this press release nor the ratings issued by Scope constitute investment advice and/or financial advice, nor do they address the appropriateness of any given investment for any specific investor, in particular retail investors. Each potential investor should seek and obtain professional advice in respect of his/her investments.
This press release is neither an offer of securities for sale, nor a solicitation of an offer to purchase/subscribe for securities, in any jurisdiction.

GTC completes the sale of Spiral

  • GTC has sold one of its Hungarian assets, Spiral, an A-class office building with a total leasable area of 30,541 sq m.
  • The development is located 5 minutes from the city centre next to Váci út Corridor and just a few hundred meters from Nyugati Railway Station.

The leading real estate investor and developer in the CEE region, GTC, has released information that they sold their Spiral, an A-class office building located in Budapest, Hungary. The sale will generate EUR 41m of free cash.

Spiral provides a total of 30,541 sq m of leasable office space situated next to Váci út Corridor, one of the most popular office destinations in Budapest. The building was completed in 2008 and offers six floors of offices and four underground parking levels. The building has a single office occupier leased to the Hungarian National Asset Management Inc and the remaining space of 1,896 sq m is leased to a restaurant and a fitness centre operator.  

We believe the time has come to refresh our portfolio in Hungary by selling mature assets in order to make room for new, exciting acquisitions and developments. The sale of Spiral is in line with this strategy and will provide net cash to finance new acquisitions, as well as implementing our new development projects such as the Pillar and Center Point 3 office buildings. said Yovav Carmi, President of the Management Board of GTC.   

GTC will continue to hold four substantial modern office buildings located in Budapest: Center Point 1 and 2 with lettable area of 40,900 sq m, Duna Tower offering 31,300 sq m of office and GTC Metro of 16,200 sq m. The Pillar office building, presently under construction, is fully pre-leased and this is a remarkable result in the Hungarian market. Pillar is GTC’s latest highly visible landmark development.

Double platinum for Matrix Office Park

  • Two of GTC’s A-class buildings, Matrix A and Matrix B, have received LEED Platinum certification.
  • As part of the Matrix Office Park, Building A was commissioned in Q1 2019. Building B is currently under construction and expected to be completed in the coming months.
  • The complex is situated in a prestigious location within the Zagreb business district at the intersection of Radnička Street and Slavonska Avenue, two of the most important city roads.

GTC, a leading real estate investor and developer focusing on the CEE region, expands its portfolio of green projects. The Matrix A and Matrix B office buildings have both been granted LEED Platinum certifications. Thus, 80% of all GTC’s office properties now proudly bear an eco-friendly label. 

Matrix Office Park is a modern business center located in Zagreb, which will provide a total of approximately 75,500 sq m of leasable space. The first building – Matrix A – was completed in the first quarter of 2019 and offers 10,800 sq m of office space, while the second building to be completed in Q4 2020 will offer an additional10,700 sq m of modern office space. So far, the tenant portfolio of the property includes, among others, Spaces (Regus), L’Oreal and VeniTure.

We have noted that people desire to spend time, either leisure or work, in quality surroundings and thus we have created our office park with concern for the environment which is at the heart of our corporate strategy. We have endeavored to implement our sustainability-focused mindset to provide exceptional office spaces ensuring the ultimate care for our tenants and their well-being. commented Yovav Carmi, President of the Management Board of GTC.   

LEED certification encompasses all elements of the construction – from the selection of organic and safe materials, through energy efficiency and environmental protection, to the insistence on exceptional air purity, natural lighting and overall functionality, adaptability and comfort while using the building.

Galeria Północna to be the home of the largest Sinsay store in Poland

Galeria Północna has just signed an agreement with LPP to relocate its Sinsay store. The deal will result in the largest brand store in Poland with over 2,600 m2. A grand opening of the two-storied showroom featuring the greatest selection of fashionable Sinsay clothing and accessories is scheduled for this year.

A wide choice of products, attractive pricing and spacious area. That’s a new Sinsay showroom in a nutshell, which is to open with a stunning total of 2,665 m2 of area on two floors of Galeria Północna in mid-December.

From the very start, we have aimed to act outside of the box. We are the first shopping center with a roof garden and a brine graduation tower. We were also the only ones to feature a butterfly conservatory and an insect exhibition. A new Sinsay store is yet another project of this scope. None of the stores to date has had such a grand area or offer. We are delighted to see an important player on the market – the LPP chain – choose Galeria Północna as a seat for the largest Sinsay store in Poland. We are confident it will translate into increased footfall for the store and the entire galleria as well as the level of customer satisfaction”, said Roman Bugajczyk, Galeria Północna’s Managing Director.

Sinsay’s customers in Galeria Północna will undoubtfully be surprised to see the spaciousness of the store as well as its modern design. The interior of the store with its dominant white color of the walls, floors, and furniture will provide the perfect background for the colorful and varied fashion offer of the brand. Metal furniture and large-screens correspond with the bold, expressive Sinsay collection which is designed to be full of ideas to play with fashion this season.

We are certain that those into experimenting with style and clothing will be able to find a great number of fascinating offerings, ranging from T-shirts and dresses through trousers, blouses and shoes, bags and accessories in our store. There is no doubt that our selling point is great prices combined with a large selection of products presented in a spacious, modern area providing our customers with a sense of comfort, said Magdalena Banacka, Sinsay Visual Communications Director.

Despite the pandemic and a resulting range of restrictions, Galeria Północna’s offering is constantly growing. Recently, a brand new Food Hall has been opened in the shopping center. It is a combination of four, newly established restaurants on the Warsaw market, including Zdrowia Smak, La Terra Cafe, La Terra Pizzeria, and Burger Booth. Together, they create a unique place on the culinary map of Warsaw, which draws in clients not only with a tempting menu but also with its atmosphere and interestingly designed interior. The galleria is also full of new attractions. At the time when all shopping centers were closed, Galeria Północna received a new mural on the roof as well as two new playgrounds. On the other hand, a new arcade place has been opened and the outside playground has been expanded with a zip line.


About Galeria Północna

Galeria Północna is the first large-format 4th generation shopping center in northern Warsaw and the first modern shopping galleria to have been launched in Warsaw for over a decade. The facility with over 64,000 sq. m is located at Światowida 17 street. The GTC Group is the investor and manager of Galeria Północna, which opened on 14 September 2017. According to the GTC Group’s estimate, over 750 thousand people live in the proximity of the facility, mainly young people and families with young children. The target group has been reflected not only in the shopping offer but also in the architectural design of the building. Designed by APA Wojciechowski and Tzur Architects, the building features a special roof arrangement enabling active relaxation in its green area.

In April 2019, the galleria received a brine graduation tower on its roof – the first one to be opened in a shopping center in Poland. The beginning of Q3 also saw the first butterfly conservatory in the Mazovian Voivodeship to be opened in the recreational part of the galleria. The facility also meets the highest ecological standards as confirmed by the international LEED Gold certification. Galeria Północna guarantees a shopping, entertainment, and service offer unavailable before its opening in the north-east part of Warsaw. Visitors to the galleria may choose from among 200 stores, boutiques and service points of well-known domestic and international brands, a food court, an 11-room Cinema City, Fikołki playground, Zdrofit fitness club, and 2,000 parking spaces. The list of tenants includes, among others, the first Junior store in Warsaw, LPP Group stores, TK Maxx, H&M, Martes Sport, RTV EURO AGD, Media Expert, CCC, Carrefour with a full-format hypermarket, Bierhalle and the Enel-Med medical center. More at: www.galeriapolnocna.pl

Yovav Carmi appointed as President of the Management Board of GTC

GTC Supervisory Board has appointed Mr. Yovav Carmi to the position of the President of the Management Board of GTC.

Mr. Carmi has over 26 years of professional experience in finance and real estate and has worked for GTC for the last 19 years. The period with the company has given him an in-depth knowledge of GTC’s operations and activities in the region. On joining GTC in 2001, Mr. Carmi was initially responsible for the financial operations as the Chief Financial Officer of GTC in CEE and since July 2015, he has held the position of GTC’s Chief Operating Officer. The newly appointed President has also been a member of GTC’s Management Board between 2011 and 2015 and currently since April 2020.  

„Leading GTC as President of the Management Board, gives me a unique opportunity, with my colleagues on the Management Board and the GTC team, to further develop the company’s’ growth strategy to make it even better suited to the challenges and opportunities ahead. I am confident GTC has the perfect combination of talent and unique assets to reach new heights. With a clear vision, dedication and drive on the one hand and a strong cash position and rebounding market indicators on the other, I plan to boost GTC’s development portfolio and acquisition plans to increase the value for its shareholders”commented Yovav Carmi, newly appointed President of the Management Board of GTC

Prior to joining GTC, Yovav Carmi gained professional experience with Ernst & Young as an auditor (1994-1996) and as an investigator with the Israel Securities Authority (1997-1998).  From 1998 to 2001, he held the position of a financial controller at the Kardan Group.  

“I am pleased to introduce Yovav Carmi as a new President of GTC’s Management Board. His in-depth understanding of the real estate markets in the region combined with the knowledge of GTC’s activities gained over the years makes him a perfect candidate for this demanding role. The post requires remarkable leadership skills and I am confident that GTC is in good hands to achieve even further success” – said Zoltan Fekete, President of GTC’s Supervisory Board.  

Yovav Carmi graduated from Tel-Aviv University where he obtained an MBA, as well as BA in both law and accounting.

Grzegorz Strutyński joins GTC as Country Manager responsible for operations in Poland

GTC has appointed Grzegorz Strutyński to the position of Country Manager, Poland. He will be responsible for all activities taken by the Company in Poland.

Grzegorz Strutyński has led an outstanding career in senior management positions for major international real estate companies. Prior to joining GTC, Mr. Strutyński held the position of Commercial Director Poland for Globalworth, being responsible for leasing, asset management, marketing and project management.  Before that, and for five years, he held the position of Commercial Director and Member of the Board of HB Reavis Poland, managing the leasing, marketing and other commercial functions as well as closely cooperating with acquisition and design development teams on new projects and disposals of office buildings. Mr. Strutyński has also 9 years of an extensive experience with Skanska in Warsaw and Budapest at a senior management level.

„I’m joining GTC in a very challenging time of global pandemic which affected almost every part of our lives. I want to use my knowledge and years of experience to support GTC in the normalization process and lead it to the further success.” – said Grzegorz Strutyński, Country Manager Poland at GTC.

Robert Snow, member of the Management Board of GTC S.A., welcomed Grzegorz Strutyński to the company with an address of the importance of GTC’s ongoing development in Poland which requires experienced leadership and skills thus the appointment of Mr. Strutyński is good news all round.

Grzegorz Strutyński_GTC

Retail results impacted by COVID-19 outbreak. Offices resilient. Solid collection

H1 2020 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gross margin from rental activity at €59m (€61m in H1 2019)
  • Occupancy at 94% (95% December 2019)
  • FFO I decreased 11% to €33m (€37m in H1 2019), FFO per share at €0.07
  • Operating profit: profit before tax and fair value adjustments of €32m in H1 2020 (€37m in H1 2019)
  • Loss after tax of €34m, loss per share of €0.07
  • EPRA NAV decreased by 3% to €1,161m as at 30 June 2020, EPRA NAV per share at €2.39 (PLN 10.67 at EUR/PLN 4.466)
  • Solid financial metrics
    • LTV at 46% (44% as of 31 December 2019)
    • WAIR at 2.6% (2.6% as of 31 December 2019)
  • Cash and cash equivalents amounted to €142m as of 30 June 2020

 

H1 2020 PORTFOLIO HIGHLIGHTS

  • OFFICE: SHOWS RESILIENT
    • Occupancy remained strong at 95%
    • No collection problem
    • 57,500 sq m under construction on time and budget
    • Spiral office building under sale negotiations with the value uplift of €10m
  • RETAIL: MOMENTUM CONTINUES TOWARDS PRE-COVID-19 LEVELS
    • Occupancy remained strong on 92%
    • Consumers gain confidence in the public health measures that have been taken
    • Footfall at 72% in the last week of July vs the same week in 2019
    • July sales on average at 86% vs last year
    • Sales are down less than footfall: Higher conversion and average basket
    • Collection rate at 91% in H1 2020

 

“As restrictive measures on our markets eased, we have greater clarity on the consequences of the pandemic on our business. We completed renegotiations with majority of our retail tenants affected by the COVID-19-crisis and granted tenant concessions which impacted our gross margin by EUR 8 million in the first half. However, the collection of the retail rent was solid and stood at 91% in that period. We see momentum continuing towards pre-covid-19 levels with footfall gradually returning and malls’ turnovers picking up. On the office side as an operator of well-connected CBD locations, we expect the losses caused by the COVID-19-pandemic to be minor and short-term. We continue our development portfolio encouraged by the strong interest in the office space in the CEE region.” commented Yovav Carmi, GTC’s Management Board Member.

 

2020_Q2_GTC_Financial Results_Press release

 

GTC presents a strong balance sheet at the end of March 2020. Impact of COVID-19 outbreak visible in the operations

Q1 2020 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Annual in-place rent went up 11% to €145.4m (€130.6m in Q1 2019)
  • Gross margin from rental activity up by 1% to €30m
  • Occupancy kept high at 95%
  • FFO I increased 3% to €18.3m, FFO per share at €0.04
  • Operating profit: profit before tax and fair value adjustments of €13m
  • Profit after tax of €3m, earnings per share of €0.01
  • EPRA NAV up by 1% to €1,208m as at 31 March 2020, EPRA NAV per share at €2.49 (PLN 11.33 at EUR/PLN 4.55)
  • Solid financial metrics
    • LTV at 44% (44% as of 31 December 2019)
    • WAIR at historic low of 2.6% (2.6% as of 31 December 2019)
  • Cash and cash equivalents amounted to €196.6m as of 31 March 2020

 

Q1 2020 PORTFOLIO HIGHLIGHTS

  • High occupancy kept high at 95%
    • 19,000 sq m of newly leased or released space
  • Completion of high quality office and retail space:
    • Green Heart (N3), Belgrade
  • 3 office buildings under construction to bring €11.1m rent upon completion and stabilization:
    • Matrix B
    • Advance business Center II
    • Pillar

“Our operations were significantly tested during the last few months when COVID-19 outbreak started in Europe. We closed all our shopping malls for part of March, April and part of May. In order to ensure continuation of operations in our shopping centers, we support our tenants after the re-opening of the shops. That will have a negative impact on both our operations and value of properties which, as we announced earlier, felt by 2.7% recently, which resulted in the lack of compliance with certain financial covenants included in the retail assets loan agreements as of 30 June 2020. We managed to waive the covenants until June 2021 in case of Galeria Jurajska and Ada Mall loans and we entered into the negotiations with the lender of Galeria Północna. However, when we look at the statistics of the shopping malls after the re-opening, they seem to be encouraging.” – commented Yovav Carmi, GTC’s Management Board Member.

We recommend to the AGM to retain profit from 2019 in the Company to fight the consequences of COVID-19 outbreak but also to be prepared for further development or acquisition activity which will be dependent on the market conditions.” – added Yovav Carmi.

 

2020_Q1_GTC_Financial Results_Press release

Commerzbank chooses Advance Business Center II

  • Commerzbank has pre-leased over 3,500 sq m in Advance Business Center II, A-class office located in a vibrant business district in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • The contract secures building’s occupancy rate on the level of 75%
  • Advance Business Center II is due for deployment in Q4 of 2020

GTC Bulgaria has informed that the varied tenant portfolio of Advance Business Center II will be enriched by Commerzbank. One of the largest German banks will lease over 3,500 sq m GLA of office space starting on 1st December 2020. The pre-leasing agreement was consulted by CBRE. Advance Business Center II is under construction phase and due for delivery in Q4 2020.

Advance Business Center II is a second GTC development project within Business Park Sofia. The building will offer 17,800 sq m of modern office space located on three office floors as well as three underground levels with 279 parking lots. The implementation of innovative technological solutions combined with quality, cutting-edge architectural design will allow providing employees with ideal conditions for efficient work answering all their needs and requirements. Multiple green zones between the buildings of GTC’s office complex will be enriched of water cascades and benches creating a friendly chillout space. It is an office building of the highest standard and has already been precertified at the LEED Gold.

The idea behind Advance Business Center II is to create a world-class work environment including leisure options which became important for employees. Our tenant portfolio is already secured in 75%, and we are extremely pleased that Commerzbank has chosen our office building as Modis or World Bank did. We are sure that the highest quality of our new workspace will meet the requirements of all tenants who trusted Advance Business Center II to be a great office environment commented Danny Bercovich, Country Head at GTC Bulgaria.

According to the plan, Advance Business Center II will be delivered at the end of 2020. The building is already popular among tenants who gladly choose it due to the highest quality of the most minute details and an attractive location of the metro station ensuring quick access to the city centre, Sofia Ring Mall and the airport. Commerzbank will join e.q. World Bank who has signed a 4,000 sq m. lease agreement in November 2019.

ABC II

GTC with EUR 130 million of refinancing for Galeria Jurajska

  • GTC has refinanced Galeria Jurajska with a 5-year loan at attractive conditions. 
  • The asset maintains full occupancy and it is a focal point in its region. 

GTC signed a refinancing loan agreement for one of the largest assetin its portfolioGaleria Jurajska. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, Galeria Jurajska is one of the brightest points on Silesian retail map, offering over 200 stores, service points, restaurants and multi-screen cinema placed on 48,700 sq. m.  

Over 50 shops have recently prolonged their lease in Galeria Jurajska given their successful performance in the mall and its attractiveness among customers living in Silesia Province. The shopping center was granted BREEAM certificate at the “Excellent” level for the implementation of ecological solutions such as energy-saving lighting or an efficient air handling system. A number of banks have shown interest in refinancing the asset, and GTC management has selected the best offer. 

„The new loan will generate over EUR 40 million of free cash to GTC at attractive financial conditions. This high-quality investment continues to provide GTC with important Free Flow from Operations (FFO) alongside with substantial free cash from refinancing provided by leading banks in the region.” – said Erez Boniel, GTC’s CFO. 

fot. Galeria Jurajska (1)