The direct result from the company was 57 million euros, below the 61 million recorded the year before, which Sonae Sierra explains as the capital allocation strategy of the company, which generated 13.3 million euros in profit through the sale of assets. Based on a comparable portfolio, and excluding the impact of variations in exchange taxes, the direct result increased 8%, equal to the improvements in the operational results from shopping centres and the growth in the provision of services, and also due to the decrease in the bank rate.
Shop sales from the European portfolio of Sonae Sierra recorded a rise of 3.4% in 2016, comparable to 2015, with special mention of the growth of Romania at 15.7%, 8% in Spain and 4% in Portugal, a performance which «resulted from the recovery of the market in general, and the resilience and quality of our shopping centres as important shopping destinations».
The global occupancy rate of the portfolio rose to 96,6%, above the 95.2% of the previous year, reaching 97.1% at European level.
Fernando Guedes de Oliveira, CEO of Sonae Sierra, explains «the good operational results in 2016 demonstrate the quality and the reputation of our shopping centres, which recorded global increases in sales, and higher occupancy rates She stresses that «the opening of ParkLake, in Romania, «was a success and we are co owners of two more shopping centres in development in Morocco and in Colombia. We have several expansions in place in Portugal and in Spain. The positive results form our capital allocation strategy and the focus on the provision of services are an excellent basis for work in 2017».
Sonae Sierra has followed a capital allocation strategy with the aim of exposing business to new opportunities for development, reducing their participation in more mature shopping centres, though maintaining important majority capital positions in these centres, «guaranteeing a total alignment of interests with the majority of investors», explains a communication from the firm. Sonae Sierra thus is assuming the role of operational partner adding value to assets.
At the moment, in Spain, the McArturGlen project is proceeding at the Designer Outlet Málaga, and in progress are various expansions of existing centres, such as NorteShopping, in Portugal.
It can be recalled that Sonae Sierra recently launched, in partnership with Bankinter, a new socimi which will invest 400 million euros in commercial real estate assets in good locations in Portugal and Spain, especially retail parks, supermarkets, hypermarkets and prime high street commerce.