The General Meeting of Shareholders approves the Statement of Income for financial year 2007, showing net income of €35.4 million.
. Renta Corporación shareholders approve the appointment of Ramchand Bhavnani to the Board of Directors.
. Approval of a total dividend of €10.6 million charged to income for FY 2007.
. Today’s meeting of the Board of Directors appointed Esther Giménez as Executive Director and Enric Venancio as “Other External Director”.
. The shareholders were informed that the Board of Directors has approved the results for the first quarter of 2008 with sales of €126.5 million, even though the net result was an €8.7 million loss resulting from lack of liquidity on the market.
The General Meeting of Shareholders held today in Barcelona approved the Group’s results for financial year 2007, showing net income of €35.4 million and sales of €529.1 million. Investments stood at €569.6 million.
Those results were considered as positive, especially bearing in mind the lack of liquidity that affected the market in the second half of the financial year and intensified in the final weeks of the year.
Also of note regarding financial year 2007 are the following:
- Negotiation of a five-year syndicated loan of €500 million, giving the Group access to long-term financing for the first time.
- Entry on the New York market, which meant expanding the Group’s international presence, for the first time outside Europe. Thus, New York is now added to the European cities where Renta Corporación already operates, namely Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, London and Berlin.
- Acquisition of an office building in Barcelona where the Group’s head office has been moved, with the rest of the building being leased out.
The General Meeting of Shareholders also approved the appointment of Ramchand Bhavnani to the office of Director of Renta Corporación, as a director representing substantial shareholders. Mr. Bhavnani’s appointment reinforces the Company’s commitment to having a strong shareholding base to bring value to the shareholders. Following that appointment, the Board of Directors now has 12 members, including four Executive Directors, three External Independent Directors, four External Directors considered “Other Directors” and one Director representing substantial shareholders.
The Meeting approved distribution of a dividend for financial year 2007 for the total amount of €10.6 million, which represents a 30% pay-out.
Shareholders were informed of the most important resolutions passed by the Board of Directors at the meeting held just before the General Meeting of Shareholders, including, most notably, the following:
- Appointment of Esther Giménez as Executive Director and Enric Venancio as “Other External Director”, as he takes up a new position in Mixta Africa.
- The results attained in the first quarter of 2008, characterised by the serious liquidity crisis in the international financial system, which is having a direct impact on Renta Corporación’s business on all the markets where it operates.
Jan – Mar 2008 performance.
- Sales stood at €126.5 million, four times higher than in the last quarter of 2007 and about twice that of the third quarter, but still 50% below the same period of the previous year. Bearing in mind that the business has continued operating in a market environment characterised by tough credit conditions, the Company considers it especially pertinent to compare this figure with performance in the months of October to December 2007, by which time the international financial crisis was well under way. In that regard, it is important to note that the sales figure was much higher than the €28.6 million achieved in Q4 of 2007. Even though the crisis on financial markets continues, Renta Corporación perceives an increase in the number of potential buyers since the last part of 2007 and is encouraged by the growth in sales.
- The net result is a loss of €8.7 million. This figure is consistent with the predictions made by the Group for such market conditions. Renta Corporación had already described 2008 as a transitional year and maintains its expectations of growth and profit for the time when conditions on the financial markets improve. The fact is that financial conditions affecting possible buyers have a decisive impact on the Company’s turnover.
- It should be noted that although EBITDA for the first quarter was negative, it improved in comparison with the last quarter of 2007 (- €5.8 million and – €9.4 million, respectively), in particular due to the cost reduction initiatives implemented since the beginning of this year.
- It is precisely because of the current tough conditions that the Group has given priority to liquidity over margin. with the aim of adapting its portfolio to the new context. As a result, gross margin on cost of sales stood in the first quarter at 2.1%.
- In this scenario, the Company has made a significant effort to reduce its net debt and strengthen its financial position. As a result, net debt at the end of March stood at €669 million, down €67 million from the 2007 year-end figure. Leverage stood at 76% , a slight improvement on December 2007, when it was 77%.
- Between January and March 2008, investments were made totalling €65 million, mainly for the purchase of office buildings.
- At the close of Q1 of 2008, the portfolio stood at €1,197 million, €169 million lower than at the end of 2007. Of the total portfolio, €798 million euros were in inventory and €399 million in investment rights.
Renta Corporación confirms both its business model, which gives it greater flexibility also in adverse market conditions, and the strategic direction put forward at the beginning of this year: to strengthen the internationalisation of the Company, give priority to the transformation and sale of buildings, with less emphasis on land, use investment rights intensively to achieve maximum operational flexibility and maintain a solid financial position. In addition, the Company has implemented cost-reduction initiatives and has further developed its sales activities by broadening its international customer base.
Barcelona, 25 April 2008 .