Vonovia SE: development remains stable and confirms forecast for year as a whole
/ Key word(s): 9 Month figures
Results as of 30 September 2022
Vonovia’s development remains stable and confirms forecast for year as a whole
Bochum, 4 November 2022 – Vonovia SE (“Vonovia”) continued its stable development during the first nine months of 2022. Despite a challenging market environment, the relevant key figures show an improvement compared with last year. On this basis, the company has confirmed its forecast for the full financial year 2022 and is anticipating a stable development for 2023.
“The effects of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine, rising interest rates, high costs of construction and a shortage of skilled labour present immense challenges to the housing sector. We are seeing a growing deficit of affordable housing, especially in large urban conglomerations. At the same time, climate change will require decisive action,” says Rolf Buch, CEO of Vonovia. “This year we have again succeeded in building affordable flats, in continuing to upgrade our portfolio in terms of energy efficiency and in improving customer satisfaction. However, we must also realise that it will take a joint effort to ensure we can continue at this level of investment in Germany. Otherwise, the housing issue will become social dynamite over the next decade. These are challenges that cannot be solved by the property sector alone.”
In economic terms, Vonovia has continued the positive development it saw during the first half of the year. The total segment revenues – like its sales revenue – rose by 31.4% to around €4.6 billion in the first nine months of 2022.
As a result, the EBITDA increased by an overall 37% to around €2.1 billion during the same period. The rise in EBITDA was largely due to the development business, alongside the merger with Deutsche Wohnen. Due to sales with a good increase in value, the Recurring Sales segment’s revenue is at the same level as in the same period last year.
The Group FFO, the leading indicator for sustainable profitability, grew by 35% to around €1.6 billion.
The Business combination with Deutsche Wohnen has been moving forward extremely smoothly, with the result that Vonovia is anticipating to leverage just under €90 million in synergies as early as 2023. From 2024, the company is expecting synergy effects of around €105 million per year. In subsequent years, the additional contribution should be €30 million per year, creating total synergies of around €135 million per year.
As at the reporting date (30 September 2022), Vonovia owned a total of around 550,000 flats. The market value of its entire portfolio was around €100 billion. At the end of the third quarter of 2022, the EPRA NTA (Net Asset Value) was around €50 billion and thus higher than the year-end-value for 2021.
At 43.4%, the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio fell again and remains within the target range of 40-45%.
Vonovia’s balanced, long-term financing profile is ensuring stability. Also, Moody’s recent decision to change Vonovia’s rating, due to higher interest rates, has had no impact on refinancing costs. The rise in interest rates has affected the entire property sector. With Baa1 instead of A3, Moody’s has changed its rating to the level of Standard & Poor's, which is BBB+. Both rating agencies have confirmed a stable and indeed positive outlook for Vonovia, thus underlining its good creditworthiness. Moody’s recognises Vonovia’s adequate liquidity and scope for covenants, as well as a balanced maturity profile and highly diversified funding sources. The Scope rating agency already confirmed Vonovia’s positive rating in the first half of the year.
Customer satisfaction at the highest level since the beginning of the survey
At the end of September 2022, Vonovia’s housing stock recorded a vacancy rate of 2.1%, once again below the equivalent figure of the previous year. “Our rental flats are nearly all taken. At the locations where we have flats, the demand far outstrips the supply – and this will continue. Migration into Germany is continuing, while rising interest rates are making it more difficult to own property or to build new homes,” says Rolf Buch.
Tenant satisfaction has risen to its highest level since the survey was started by an independent, external institute: In the third quarter, Vonovia’s Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) was 2.2 percentage points higher than in the same quarter of the previous year. “We give our customers security during times of uncertainty. We are continuing to advocate a time-limited moratorium on tenancy terminations and are committed to ensuring that no tenants will need to worry about their homes if, for instance, things get financially tight due to rising energy prices. It’s important that we talk to each other at an early stage so that we can find a solution together,” says Buch.
The market-driven increase in rents was 1% (on a 12-month rolling basis). Investments in energy-efficient modernisation led to a 1.6% increase, while investments in new builds and additional floors produced a 0.7% increase in rental income. The average monthly rent across the Group portfolio in Germany was €7.36 per square metre as at 30 September 2022.
High speed for more renewable energies
Vonovia remains committed to working on its green energy transition and has further specified its own climate strategy. The company has developed software that digitally maps its entire portfolio and uses algorithms to determine the current and future greenhouse gas emissions of each building. Based on these calculations, the software produces climate-specific, energy-related and economic indicators which are then factored into Vonovia’s upgrade strategy and into its full-scale neighbourhood developments. The decarbonisation tool digitally benchmarks the emission reduction of each building against the Paris target of 1.5°C, thus determining the ideal moment for modernisation.
In total, Vonovia invested around €1.8 million in its existing building stock and new builds in the first nine months of 2022. Vonovia completed 1,500 new flats during the first nine months of the year – about 13% more than during the same period in 2021.
“Given the housing shortage, we need to build yet more and even faster. However, this requires faster approval procedures and online processes on the part of the authorities. Between January and August 2022, Germany’s construction authorities issued 3% fewer planning permits than during the same period last year. It’s sending the wrong signal,” says Buch. Vonovia is already giving a lead in its cooperation with Bochum City Council and is submitting online planning applications that involve online checks with all 16 state building regulations. It is an important tool that helps to accelerate the approval procedure for planning permits.
To address the shortage of skilled workers, Vonovia has recruited electricians and gardeners in Colombia. Since September, they have been deployed by the company’s technical service department and in its residential environment, covering four cities: Hanover, Kiel, Lübeck and Berlin.
Forecast for 2022 confirmed; outlook for 2023 stable
Faced with persistently high demand for residential space, Vonovia has confirmed its forecast for 2022 as a whole, thus underlining the robustness of its business strategy and its sustainability even during turbulent times.
For 2023, Vonovia is forecasting an increase in total segment revenue between €6.8 billion and €7.4 billion. The EBITDA total is expected to be slightly above this year’s level, while the Group FFO will be slightly below the level of 2022 due to developments in interest rates and taxes. Investments in modernisation are projected to be around €500 million, while Vonovia is expecting to invest around €350 million in new builds.
For the first time, investments in modernisation and new construction have thus declined compared with previous years. “At times like these, we need to keep rents particularly affordable for our customers. Developments in construction prices and interest rates do not currently allow us to carry out much modernisation or to conduct many new construction projects on reasonable terms. It means we need to make decisions in the best interest of the community and focus on measures that have a particularly positive effect on the overall price that our tenants pay every month (i.e. rent plus utilities),” says Buch. “We’ve built up a good head start in redevelopment over the last few years. Our rate was three times higher than the national average – and in fact continually, year on year. Vonovia’s existing buildings already have an excellent level of energy efficiency, and we’ve even exceeded our targets on the Sustainability Performance Index (SPI),” Buch adds.
By the end of September 2022, only 4% of Vonovia’s existing properties were in the worst energy class, H.
The forecast for the 2023 investment programme does not signal a turnaround. “We are expressly sticking to our long-term climate roadmap, as we always have done,” underlines Buch.
“The government needs to provide far more support for tenants and landlords to resolve this dilemma between them. In the face of significantly higher costs for materials and energy, the housing industry is expected to invest around €150 billion in new builds and modernisation each year, while at the same time keeping rents affordable. It’s a contradiction in terms. Instead, we need mandatory parameters and reliable funding that will reduce the current uncertainty among tenants and landlords,” Buch emphasises.
The full quarterly report can be found at the following web addresses:
1 Prior-year figures adjusted to new adjusted EBITDA definition (excluding results from at-equity investments).
² Based on the new 2022 definition, therefore without elimination of IFRS 16 effect, line “thereof attributable to non-controlling interests” includes non-controlling interests of Deutsche Wohnen, Group FFO per share based on the shares carrying dividend rights on the reporting date, 9M 2021 prior-year values TERP-adjusted (1,067).
³ Based on the new 2022 definition, therefore excluding real estate transfer tax, EPRA NTA per share based on the shares carrying dividend rights on the reporting date. 2021 adjusted after closing of Deutsche Wohnen PPA.
4 2021 adjusted after closing of Deutsche Wohnen PPA.
5 Deutsche Wohnen included. No disclosure of rent increases in the portfolio.
Vonovia SE is Europe’s leading private residential real estate company. Vonovia currently owns more than 549,000 residential units (including Deutsche Wohnen) in all attractive cities and regions in Germany, Sweden and Austria. It also manages around 72,400 apartments. Its portfolio is worth approximately € 99.2 billion. As a modern service provider, Vonovia focuses on customer orientation and tenant satisfaction. Offering tenants affordable, attractive and livable homes is a prerequisite for the company’s successful development. Therefore, Vonovia makes long-term investments in the maintenance, modernization and senior-friendly conversion of its properties. The company is also creating more and more new apartments by realizing infill developments and adding to existing buildings.
The company, which is based in Bochum, has been listed on the stock exchange since 2013. Since September 2015 Vonovia has been a constituent in the DAX 30 (today DAX 40) and since September 2020 in the EURO STOXX 50. Vonovia SE is also a constituent of additional national and international indices, including DAX 50 ESG, Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe, STOXX Global ESG Leaders, EURO STOXX ESG Leaders 50, FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Europe, and GPR 250 World. Vonovia has a workforce of approximately 15,900 employees.
Approval: Regulated Market/Prime Standard, Frankfurt Stock Exchange
Common code: 094567408
Registered headquarters of Vonovia SE: Bochum, Germany, Bochum Local Court, HRB 16879
Business address of Vonovia SE: Universitaetsstrasse 133, 44803 Bochum, Germany
This press release has been issued by Vonovia SE and/or its subsidiaries solely for information purposes. This press release may contain statements, assumptions, opinions and predictions about the anticipated future development of Vonovia (“forward-looking statements”) that reproduce various assumptions regarding, e.g., results derived from Vonovia’s current business or from publicly available sources that have not been subject to an independent audit or in-depth evaluation by Vonovia and that may turn out to be incorrect at a later stage. All forward-looking statements express current expectations based on the current business plan and various other assumptions and therefore come with risks and uncertainties that are not insignificant. All forward-looking statements should not therefore be taken as a guarantee for future performance or results and, furthermore, do not necessarily constitute exact indicators that the forecast results will be achieved. All forward-looking statements relate solely to the day on which this press release was issued to its recipients. It is the responsibility of the recipients of this press release to conduct a more detailed analysis of the validity of forward-looking statements and the underlying assumptions. Vonovia accepts no responsibility for any direct or indirect damages or losses or subsequent damages or losses, as well as penalties that the recipients may incur by using the press release, its contents and, in particular, all forward-looking statements or in any other way, as far as this is legally permissible. Vonovia does not provide any guarantees or assurances (either explicitly or implicitly) in respect of the information contained in this press release. Vonovia is not obliged to update or correct the information, forward-looking statements or conclusions drawn in this press release or to include subsequent events or circumstances or to report inaccuracies that become known after the date of this press release.
File: 221104_Vonovia_development remains stable and confirms fore-cast for year as a whole
04.11.2022 CET/CEST Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by EQS News - a service of EQS Group AG.
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1479115 04.11.2022 CET/CEST