Back to overview

Vonovia SE: Focus on climate strategy and social responsibility - Vonovia off to a good start in 2021

Vonovia SE / Key word(s): Quarter Results
Vonovia SE: Focus on climate strategy and social responsibility - Vonovia off to a good start in 2021 (news with additional features)

04.05.2021 / 07:06
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Results as of March 31, 2021
Focus on climate strategy and social responsibility - Vonovia off to a good start in 2021

- Sustainability performance index at 104.8 %. Progress through CO2 reduction, senior-friendly building upgrades and customer satisfaction.

- Integration of Hembla completed; Sweden portfolio shows efficiency of management platform.

- Moving towards climate neutrality for existing buildings: Energy Center of the Future opened in Bochum.

- Social responsibility: right to claw back foregone rents up to € 10 million waived in Berlin after ruling of the German Federal Constitutional Court.

- Corporate vaccination campaign fully planned.

- Forecast for 2021 confirmed.

Bochum, May 4, 2021 - Vonovia SE ("Vonovia") got off to a good start in 2021. The Bochum-based housing company has widened its measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and is strongly committed to providing relief in the tight housing market.

"Our business model," says CEO Rolf Buch, "continues to be crisis-proof and resilient. This makes it all the more important for us to support our customers as much as we can, especially during Covid. We continue to be committed to the protection of our tenants, without reservations. At the same time, we are careful not to lose sight of our other responsibilities: There is a shortage of new homes. Our ageing society needs senior-friendly housing. And climate change needs viable solutions."

Vonovia pursues ambitious climate protection targets

The German Federal Constitutional Court has now ruled that the legal requirements for reducing greenhouse gases from 2030 have not been defined with sufficient clarity.

Vonovia already committed itself to a binding climate roadmap last year, defining specific annual milestones. "We are already very ambitious in this respect," says Buch. The aim is to ensure climate neutrality for all its current buildings by 2050, while also achieving energy efficiency for an average of around 3% of its property portfolio each year. On average, the cost allocation will be between € 1.24 and € 2.00 per square meter.

Overall, the company's sustainability performance index (SPI), a non-financial indicator that tracks Vonovia's sustainability strategy, stood at 104.8% in the first quarter. The positive result was mainly due to carbon savings, increased customer satisfaction and a large number of senior-friendly building upgrades. Consequently, Vonovia converted more than 2,650 residential units between January and March 2021 so that they are suitable for senior citizens.

Vonovia only opened its Energy Center of the Future (EZZ) in the Bochum suburb of Weitmar at the end of April. At least 60% of all locally required energy is now being generated here, using a carbon-neutral method. In addition, Vonovia is working with various Fraunhofer Institutes on the creation of an innovative neighborhood with sector coupling and reduced energy consumption. The aim is to make the energy supply environmentally and economically efficient and to apply the resulting insights throughout Germany.

Energy upgrades and existing technology alone are not enough to reduce the share of carbon dioxide in current buildings and thus to move towards climate neutrality, nor would this be economically viable.

This is why Vonovia is focusing on closing this gap through in-depth research and technical innovation.

"Neighborhoods must be understood as central to any transformation in terms of transport, energy and climate protection. Hence, electricity produced locally by solar panels should be tax-free," states Buch.

Where carbon pricing is concerned, Vonovia is continuing to advocate a split between tenants and landlords, based on energy efficiency classes (A+ to H) for buildings: The lower the class, the higher the landlord's share. "This would create the necessary investment incentives to make buildings more energy-efficient," says Buch.

Continued financial stability - strong result in Sweden

Total Segment Revenue rose from € 998.8 million in the first quarter of 2020 to € 1,145.5 million (up 14.7 %) in the first quarter of 2021.

In financial terms, Vonovia got off to a robust start in the 2021 financial year. The Adjusted EBITDA Total rose to € 506.1 million between January and March 2021, an increase which was 11.0% higher than during the same period last year (January to March 2020: € 456.1 million). The Adjusted EBITDA Rental was € 403.1 million (January to March 2020: € 381.1 million).

The results were particularly supported by positive contributions from Vonovia's residential portfolio in Sweden. Rolf Buch: "Following the successful integration of the Hembla portfolio in Sweden, it is now obvious for the first time that Vonovia's scalable model also works in comparable markets internationally." By applying a standardized platform, it is possible to further reduce the management costs of each residential unit while also ensuring a sustainable increase in synergy effects. Vonovia confirms the announced financial and operational synergies of ca. € 30 million for 2021 and expects a run rate of € 36 million starting in 2022.

Another growth segment was that of Housing-Related Services (Value-add), with an earnings contribution of € 45.8 million (January to March 2020: € 37.2 million). Vonovia expanded not only its repair services, but especially also its cable TV, residential environment, insurance and metering services, as well as energy supplies.

In the same period Vonovia increased its Group FFO (operating income) by 14.1 % to € 382.9 million (January to March 2020: € 335.5 million). A positive effect could be observed, in particular, from organic growth through construction and modernization as well as from Recurring Sales.

As demand continues to be high, the residential property portfolio was almost fully let by the end of the first quarter of 2021. The vacancy rate at the end of March 2021 was 2.8 % - exactly the same as 12 months earlier. Vonovia has widened its digital services for tenants entering into new rental agreements, so that tenants can now conclude them entirely online, using the Vonovia customer app. Due to current market conditions, rents increased by 0.7 % from January to March 2021 (same period in 2020: 1.0 %). Investments in housing (modernization) led to a 1.7% rent increase (January to March 2020: 2.3 %), while investments in construction and adding extra floors created an additional 0.6% (same period in 2020: 0.6%).

Investments at a high level

In all, Vonovia invested € 379.9 million in maintenance, modernization and construction (for its own portfolio) between January and March 2021 (same period in 2020: € 414.5 million). While maintenance during the first three months of 2021 was € 135.7 million and thus 10.3% above the same period last year (€ 123.0 million), modernization dropped to € 165.1 million (same period in 2020: € 208.1 million). This decrease was mainly due to less investment in Berlin and also, in a number of cases, restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. Construction between January and March 2021 accounted for € 79.1 million, which was 5.2 % less than during the same period last year (€ 83.4 million).

In this context, Vonovia continues to apply two central instruments to shield tenants from excessive financial pressure: a hardship management policy and a policy of exempting tenants over 70 from unaffordable rent increases. At the end of March 2021, Vonovia's average monthly rent (excluding utilities) was € 6.98 per square meter.

Covid tests and corporate vaccination campaign

Over 90% of all office staff are continuing to work flexibly from home. Since March 2021, Vonovia has been running rapid lateral flow tests at its head office canteen, providing fast testing on a regular basis. All employees are given the opportunity to be tested at least twice a week. Staff in the various regions can also use the home tests that are given to them, or go to any of the local test centers with whom Vonovia cooperates. "I'm proud of the entire Vonovia team. Our workforce has been exemplary in the way they're handling the situation, and they're showing outstanding commitment," Buch emphasizes.

Furthermore, Vonovia has taken all the necessary steps to convert the test center into a vaccination center at short notice. "As soon as the vaccines announced by the German government arrive in June this year, our company doctors can start vaccinating our workforce. It will be voluntary, of course," says Buch, "and anyone living in the same households will also be offered vaccination."

Particular focus on social responsibility

Vonovia aims to meet the interests of all stakeholders. As soon as the German Federal Constitutional Court had declared that Berlin's rent freeze was unconstitutional, Vonovia announced that it would waive any right to claw back foregone rent. "We don't want people in Berlin to suffer financial distress because of a wrong political decision," Rolf Buch explained. For the company, this means waiving up to € 10 million in foregone rent. "The Court's decision alone won't solve the challenges that Berlin is facing in the housing market. I'm worried about Berlin," says Buch. "In the long run, the only way to solve this problem is by building additional housing."

Vonovia is continuing to press ahead with its construction activity. In the first quarter of 2021 Vonovia built 379 residential units - three times more than during the same quarter last year. It is also building some urgently needed residential units that are publicly funded. One type of raw material that is increasingly being used is wood, which is both sustainable and suitable for modular construction.

Highly flexible financing strategy

During the first quarter of the year Vonovia issued its first € 600 million Green Bond. This ten-year bond bearing 0.625 % interest is continuing the company's sustainability strategy. Together with the € 500 million bond issued in January with a maturity of 20 years, Vonovia has created a highly flexible basis for financing. The Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio was 39.1 % at the end of March 2021, i.e. 0.3 percentage points below the level at the end of 2020.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, the EPRA NTA, the key performance indicator for the net asset value, was € 35,772.9 million - 0.8% higher than the value at the end of 2020, € 35,488.6 million. The EPRA NTA has been mirroring the increase in equity. The EPRA NTA per share increased from € 62.71 at the end of 2020 to € 63.22 at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Forecast confirmed

Given the strong start to Vonovia's new financial year and its resilient business model, the company has confirmed the forecast for 2021.

In 2021, Vonovia is planning to invest between € 1,300 million and € 1,600 million in modernization and construction. Total Segment Revenue is expected to be within a range of approximately € 4,900 million to € 5,100 million, and the Adjusted EBITDA Total between € 1,975 million and € 2,025 million. As a result, Vonovia is expecting its Group FFO to rise between € 1,415 million and € 1,465 million. At the same time, Vonovia reckons that its Sustainability Performance Index will be around 100 % in relation to various indicators such as carbon savings from existing buildings and customer satisfaction.

Interim Statement for the First Quarter of 2021:

You can find further information, photos and footage
in the press section

2021 Financial Calendar:
August 6, 2021:
Interim Financial Report for 2021
November 4, 2021: Interim Statement for the first nine months of 2021


Financial Key Figures in € million   3M 2020   3M 2021   Change
in %
Total Segment Revenue   998.8   1,145.5   14.7  
Adjusted EBITDA Total   456.1   506.1   11.0
Adjusted EBITDA Rental   381.1   403.1   5.8  
Adjusted EBITDA Value-add   37.2   45.8   23.1  
Adjusted EBITDA Recurring Sales   26.4   47.1   78.4  
Adjusted EBITDA Development   11.4   10.1   -11.4  
EBITDA IFRS   428.1   475.4   11.0  
Group FFO   335.5   382.9   14.1  
Profit for the Period   211.6   247.0   16.7  
Total Cost of Maintenance, Modernization and
New Construction (to Hold)
  414.5   379.9   -8.3  
Thereof for Maintenance Expenses and
Capitalized Maintenance
  123.0   135.7   10.3  
Thereof for Modernization   208.1   165.1   -20.7  
Thereof for New Construction (to Hold)   83.4   79.1   -5.2  
Key Balance Sheet Figures in € million   Dec. 31, 2020   Mar. 31, 2021   Change
in %
Fair Value of the Real Estate Portfolio   58,910.7   58,984.6   0.1  
EPRA NTA   35,488.6   35,772.9   0.8  
EPRA NTA per Share in €*   62.71   63.22   0.8  
LTV (in %)   39.4   39.1   -0.3 pp  
Nicht-finanzielle Kennzahlen   3M 2020   3M 2021   Change
in %
Number of Units Managed   488,294   487,191   -0.2
Thereof Own Apartments   415,323   414,715   -0.1
Thereof Apartments Owned by Others   72,971   72,476   -0.7
Number of New Apartments Completed   122   379   >100
Thereof Own Apartments   122   149   22.1
Thereof Apartments for Sale   -   230   -
Vacancy Rate (in %)   2.8   2.8   -
Monthly in-place rent in €/m²   6.94   7.18   3.5
Number of employees
(as of Mar. 31)
  10,684   1.8

* Based on the shares carrying dividend rights on the reporting date: Mar. 31, 2020: 542,273,611; Mar. 31, 2021: 565,887,299; Dec. 31, 2020: 565,887,299.

About Vonovia

Vonovia SE is Europe's leading private residential real estate company. Vonovia currently owns around 415,000 residential units in all attractive cities and regions in Germany, Sweden and Austria. It also manages around 72,500 apartments. Its portfolio is worth approximately € 59.0 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 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, STOXX Europe ESG Leaders 50, FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Europe, and GPR 250 World. Vonovia has a workforce of more than 10,000 employees.

Additional Information:
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.


Additional features:

File: Focus on climate strategy and social responsibility - Vonovia off to a good start in 2021_210504

04.05.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Archive at

Language: English
Company: Vonovia SE
Universitätsstraße 133
44803 Bochum
Phone: +49 234 314 1609
Fax: +49 234 314 2995
Indices: DAX
Listed: Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange
EQS News ID: 1192000

End of News DGAP News Service

1192000  04.05.2021 

Back to overview